In 2016, Trump supporter Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who would go on to become a short-lived White House adviser, divulged why Trump gets so much satisfaction from displays of bootlicking. “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” Manigault-Newman said in an interview with Frontline. “It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”
This insight was vindicated today in a remarkable cabinet meeting. After Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson offered a prayer, Trump invited his Vice President Mike Pence “to say a few words.” Pence prostrated himself with relish. “You’ve restored American credibility on the world stage,” Pence gushed. “You’ve signed more bills rolling back federal red tape than any president in American history. You’ve unleashed American energy. You’ve spurred an optimism in this country that is setting records.”
There have long been rumors that Pence is angling for Trump’s job. But with the president on the verge of signing a big tax reform package, it looks like he’s firmly in charge—and taking his revenge on his doubters.