Merely for having sat calmly through George H.W. Bush’s funeral on Wednesday, Donald Trump was hailed by some as having turned a more presidential page. Alas, it was another Groundhog Day in a loop of Trumpian false dawns. Since then, Trump announced the exit of his chief of staff, John Kelly, appointed Heather Nauert, a former Fox News talking head, to be the next UN ambassador, named a new attorney-general, William Barr, and was effectively labelled a criminal by his own department of justice. For good measure, he also called Rex Tillerson, his former secretary of state, “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell”. Trump is battening down the hatches for the second half of his presidential term. It promises to be much stormier than the first. Robert Mueller, the special counsel, is methodically lining up his targets for what increasingly looks like a recommended indictment of Trump for more than one federal crime. On Friday, “individual #1”, as Trump is called in the filings, was implicat...

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