Trump sticks to script in Las Vegas, but Secretary of State’s comments raise new questions about his competence

Developments on Day 258 of the Trump Administration:

See also Podcast: Trump’s PR Tour of Las Vegas

Trump’s Attempt at Authority Overtaken by Events

Donald Trump tries to regain authority with a tour of Las Vegas after Monday’s mass killings — but US news outlets have already moved to a new story questioning his competence.

As Trump — whose Tuesday effort in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico stumbled — travelled to Nevada, attention swelled in Washington to the well-sourced report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “f***** moron” in late July and had to be talked out of resignation by Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Tillerson called a news conference to deny that he considered quitting, but he did not refute the “moron” remark.

See Tillerson: “Donald, You’re A Moron”

Trump’s stay in Las Vegas was brief. In contrast to Puerto Rico — where he appeared to belittle the disaster in comparing it to the “real catastrophe” of Hurricane Katrina, made an ill-advised joke after the island costing the Federal Government a lot of money, and threw paper towels to residents at a relief center — he stuck to his script, both in a meeting with first responders and in a statement to the press.

I spoke with Rosemary Church of CNN International on Thursday morning about Trump’s attempt and the significance of the “moron” story, with Tillerson, Mattis, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster all worried about an uncontained President: