That Trump said this is both shocking and completely in character (boldface mine):
Weeks after a U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in a covert mission in Yemen, Trump has resisted accepting responsibility for authorizing the mission and the subsequent death of Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens.
In an interview with Fox News that aired Tuesday morning, Trump said the mission “was started before I got here.”
He noted that the operation was something his generals “were looking at for a long time doing.”
“This was something that was, you know, just – they wanted to do,” Trump said. ” And they came to see me and they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected.”
“And they lost Ryan,” Trump continued.
…But never did Trump acknowledge his responsibility as the senior-most leader in the United States military chain of command in authorizing the operation.
This is what narcissists do:
Just like the addict’s primary goal is to get that fix, the narcissist’s primary goal is to maintain the fantasy. They will construct elaborate mechanisms to deny unpleasant realities…
The dishonest climate is another massive problem. Problems will fester and multiply because the narcissist doesn’t want to hear about them–the show must go on. Then things reach a crisis point, as the lies collapse on each other. At this point, the narcissist swings into paranoia and rage. Why did all of these awful people lie to me? (Can’t imagine why…). Then the impulsiveness kicks in. Needless to say, this isn’t the optimal environment for crisis management. So if you care about the goals of the organization, the narcissist boss is often the largest impediment. This too is soul-crushing.
A man like Trump is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions: it is always someone else’s fault. This is not a ‘political’ strategy, or an attempt to dodge blame–lots of people do that, at least occasionally. Psychologically, he can’t face the reality that he fucked up. He needs to blame the generals, to blame everyone but himself.
This doesn’t affect policy, but those in media must realize that he’s not going to change or ‘evolve.’ He won’t learn from his mistakes because, at a very fundamental level, he doesn’t believe they’re his mistakes. He is unable to and can’t believe that. What you see is what we’re going to get.