It’s not news that Donald Trump is the worst of his own enemies, but he outdid himself with his latest bizarre behavior.
His social media warning early Friday that “death and destruction” could follow if he’s criminally charged in the Stormy Daniels case came as he posted an image of himself holding a baseball bat next to a photo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s head.
“What kind of person,” Trump wrote, “can charge another person, in this case a former president of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting president in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a crime, when it is known by all that NO crime has been committed, & also that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our country?”
Sensible voters might reasonably ask what kind of person facing charges encourages mayhem.
And what kind of defendant calls the prosecutor “a degenerate psychopath,” as Trump also did?
The unmistakable echoes of Jan. 6 complete the picture of a man incapable of remorse.
The rant was perfectly timed — if Trump’s goal was to stomp out growing public unease over how Bragg is stretching a novel legal theory to indict him.
‘Heights of absurdity’
The outburst also obscured signs Bragg was having either second thoughts or trouble convincing a grand jury Trump committed a crime.
Two scheduled sessions were canceled, with a source telling Fox News the DA was facing “major dissension” on his staff.
Whatever led to the pause, Trump managed to shove potential good news for himself into the background with his Friday post.
It didn’t help his cause that Bragg got a letter later that day containing a death threat and white powder, underscoring Trump’s recklessness.
Al Sharpton seized on the death threat to hold a prayer vigil for Bragg’s safety.
He called Trump’s warning “a bullhorn of incendiary racist and anti-Semitic bile, spewed out for the sole purpose of intimidating and sabotaging a lawful, legitimate, fact-based investigation.”
It’s not easy to make Sharpton look good, but Trump did it. Heckuva job, Mr. President!
Alas, Friday was just the culmination of an especially weird week, even by Trump standards, as his need for attention reached new heights of absurdity.
He earlier predicted he would be arrested, though he wasn’t worried.
In fact, aides said he wanted to be handcuffed, perp walked in front of the media — and his own team’s camera — and publicize his police mug shot.
“The visual will fire up his base,” an insider told The Post.
The prospect certainly fired up Trump’s fundraising machine, which reportedly collected a tidy $1.5 million over several days.
His plans to turn the case into an opportunity reflect his belief the charges will collapse and make him look bullet proof.
That, in turn, would make him the clear leader for the GOP presidential nominee next year, leaving Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others in the dust.
Then the money would follow and the fat cats who tried to dump him would have to kiss the ring — and pay for the privilege.
It’s time for a reality check.
Even if the Bragg case plays out that way, there are two larger hurdles standing in the way of Trump’s fantasy scenario.
First, he faces three other criminal probes, and two are federal cases being run by an aggressive special prosecutor.
One involves the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and the other is focused on his conduct before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The third case is in Georgia, where Trump urged an official on a recorded phone call to “find” enough votes to give him the victory in a state narrowly won by Joe Biden in 2020.
Conviction in any criminal case could disqualify him from holding federal office, including the presidency.
That goal was, I believe, Bragg’s main motivation, and there are reasonable suspicions about the other criminal cases as well.
Democrats hate and fear Trump in nearly equal measure and Attorney General Merrick Garland has revealed himself to be Alvin Bragg with better public relations and more power.
But rational discussions about the merits are swamped by Trump’s boorish behavior.
In addition, a federal civil case where Trump is alleged to have raped a former magazine writer, and then defamed her, is scheduled for trial in New York next month.
Even if Trump manages to survive the legal gauntlet, there is a second hurdle to his fantasy of winning the presidency again.
Namely, the mountain of accusations alone and his antics are big fat gifts to Joe Biden.
Last week was the perfect example.
Biden got the double benefit of watching his potential 2024 opponent make a spectacle of himself while also avoiding any responsibility for ominous developments that would have otherwise put the president on the hot seat.
Consider the news from Syria, where the United States and Iran traded rocket and drone attacks, leaving a reported 19 enemy fighters dead.
Biden wanted to avoid direct confrontation as he begged Iran to return to the nuclear pact, but was forced to respond when an Iranian drone crashed into a US base, killing an American contractor and wounding five American military service members.
What he’s going to do now?
What’s Iran going to do?
Taking over headlines
Similarly, the arrogant, unbending performance of the CEO of TikTok at Thursday’s congressional hearing drew bipartisan scorn and ratcheted up pressure on the White House to take tough action.
Although the fact that Biden has been compromised by the millions of dollars his family got from China should be part of the TikTok discussion, the slim chance of that happening was reduced to zero, thanks to Trump giving the media an excuse to ignore Biden’s raging conflicts of interest.
Meanwhile, China is increasingly aggressive around the globe, and brazenly sent a spy balloon across America.
President Xi Jinping acts with the confidence of a man who has his adversary’s number.
Then there’s the war in Ukraine, with even The New York Times suddenly alarmed that our military production facilities can’t soon replace the massive array of weapons Biden sent to the beleaguered nation.
I wrote about this a month ago, after historian Niall Ferguson warned our “military industrial complex has withered away” and said “it’s startling to realize how much capacity we’ve expended in Ukraine and how long it will take to replace it.”
Now that the Times comes to the same conclusion, the White House would surely be pressured for answers.
Except for Trump’s clownish act.
Then there’s a possible invasion of Taiwan, shifting sands in the Mideast as Saudi Arabia gets cozy with China, Iran and Syria, a banking crisis, still raging inflation, a possible recession and a national debt deadline.
Serious problems are piling up on the incumbent’s desk, but who cares?
Donald Trump is putting on a show.