But now Trump faces mounting legal and political pressures approaching midterm elections that could make his problems worse. And Rahm Emanuel, the former top aide to President Barack Obama who is now Chicago's mayor, is publicly warning that the mercurial commander-in-chief may blow past the hesitation of national security advisors in search of a rally-around-the-flag political boost. He wants Congress to flash caution lights.
"We have a phrase in this country: the October surprise," Emanuel, Obama's first White House chief of staff, told me in an interview. "I think in this situation he is looking to do anything and will do anything.
"If you're going to take military action, lay out the case," added Emanuel, who previously advised President Bill Clinton and served in the House Democratic leadership. "The Senate should be asking serious questions now — not after the fact."
A White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, declined to comment.