The only force stopping Donald Trump pressing the nuclear button is the benign figures at the heart of the US state. That’s according to them, anyway.
A senior White House official allegedly wrote an anonymous editorial in the New York Times (NYT) newspaper last week.
It claimed senior figures in the White House are working against Trump “diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations”.
Trump’s reaction was to accuse the author of treason. By last Friday he was calling for attorney general Jeff Sessions to identify the author.
Trump had attacked Sessions days previously for failing to quash criminal investigations into two Republican politicians.
The US president appears to be running out of friends and, under pressure, is getting desperate.
He appealed to a crowd of supporters in Montana last Thursday to vote for him to prevent his impeachment.
And journalist Bob Woodward has released a new book on the Trump White House based on hundreds of hours of interviews.
In one extract he described how Trump was stopped from sending a tweet that would have been seen by North Korea as warning of an imminent attack.
Both Woodward’s book and the NYT editorial add to the cacophony of voices insisting the state is in safe hands. The underlying message is to trust in the “unsung heroes in and around the White House,” as the NYT’s anonymous official describes them. The unelected “adults in the room”.
What the editorial reveals is that people from across the US ruling class are uniting in an unprecedented way to get rid of Trump.
“This isn’t the work of the so-called ‘deep state’,” writes the New York Times’ anonymous source—a self-confessed conservative. “It’s the work of the steady state.”
All the voices in the choir are lauding such examples while, without irony, branding Trump a threat to US democracy.
They are calling for a return to business as usual for US capitalism. That means more poverty, more wars and more racism.
Barack Obama added his voice to the chorus on Friday, appealing to conservatives to vote for Democrats at the November midterm elections to “restore sanity”.
However the US working class movement has been inspired by teachers’ strikes that have swept the country.
That points to a real alternative to the horrors of Trump—one based on solidarity and combativity rather than looking to those at the top.
Coup threat in Venezuela
Officers from Venezuela’s military met with US officials to discuss the possibility of a coup against president Nicholas Maduro. Reports of the meeting emerged on Saturday.
Then US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said, “In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change.”
The US has intervened for decades in Latin America—both directly, and by backing military forces. Despite this, the US did not act on appeals from sections of the Venezuelan military this time.
This is partly because the Venezuelan officers were not seen as reliable.
Donald Trump has not shied from threatening “the military option” in Venezuela, and it remains a possibility.