This week's Independent News & Media Irish regional newspapers' column.
Every day we see and hear something new, usually outlandish, about President Donald Trump.
In early December Rex Tillerson, who was President Trump’s first secretary of state, said in a talk in Houston, Texas, that Mr Trump was undisciplined, did not like to read and did not respect the limits of his office.
Donald Trump immediately got to his Twitter account and said of Rex Tillerson:
‘Tillerson didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell.’
I can’t imagine a major company such as Exxon Mobil would have appointed someone as ‘dumb as a rock’ as its CEO, where Tillerson was 10 years in the top job.
These days it’s news when Trump is not in the news. And that surely is the way he wants it. In many ways he is a class act in getting attention. Indeed, the world seems to focus on him and his words every day.
The Mueller investigation is closing the net on him and his shenanigans with Russia, Putin and other autocrats and autocratic states.
These are not normal times.
If you or I said what Trump has said about women we would be summarily dismissed from our jobs. And certainly, in my case, I would be immediately removed from ministry. Yet millions of people voted for Trump, a large number of evangelical Christians support him and large swathes of right-wing Catholics cast their vote for the then Republican presidential candidate.
The conservative religious television station EWTN, the Catholic version of Fox News, is gentle and kind to him, even more than that, it makes it clear that it supports many of his policies.
Trump is no fool and it would be absurd to dismiss him as some sort of jester. He is far from it.
The President of the United States has an uncanny ability of appealing to the lowest and darkest sides of our humanity.
He is clever in how he attacks defined enemies, he knows he can ridicule the weak and the fragile. Do you remember that time when he mimicked a person with special needs? He has genius quality in creating scapegoats.
He can say whatever he likes at his mass rallies and his adoring fans will scream and howl in support.
There are now the regular chant lines: ‘lock her up’ or ‘build that wall’. They are clever one-liners, which are used as a response to his stream of nasty consciousness.
When any of us is hurt, feels alienated or unwanted, there is always the temptation to lash out and say or do nasty things. And it is this aspect of our being that Trump seems to touch and cultivate with an uncanny precision.
Anytime he meets with other world leaders he frowns and pouts and that must be because he is not at the centre of attention. It was clear at the funeral of George HW Bush that he was uncomfortable.
While the eulogies delivered at the funeral were of course about the dead president, there was always the sub plot, pointing out the rudeness and vulgarity of the current president.
Editor of ‘The New Yorker’, David Remnick commented how the words spoken about the dignity of Bush compared with the vulgarity of Trump. He said: ‘One man speaking the truth, another man incapable of speaking the truth.
And the big question; what does former KGB spy in East Germany and now Russian President Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?