January promises to be even rockier. Democrats assume control of the House with power to roadblock Trump's agenda and scrutinize his actions.
Robert Mueller's special counsel probe — which has already ensnared the president's personal lawyer, campaign chairman and first national security advisor — draws ever closer to Trump himself. Trump's family business, his charitable foundation, his 2016 campaign and his actions as president all face active criminal investigations.
With impeachment talk getting louder, presidential historian Robert Dallek recalls Richard Nixon's downward spiral from Watergate. Nixon fell not because of his political enemies but because of his own ethical and temperamental shortcomings.
"One sees something similar with Donald Trump," Dallek told me. "He's a man of bad character."
In an era before cable news and social media, Nixon vented largely in private. As if investors or diplomats need more to worry about, Trump puts his embattled psyche on display even without public appearances.
Rather than performing traditional presidential duties, Trump watches television in the White House residence and vents at critics on Twitter. Always disclaiming responsibility for problems, he strikes out one moment at congressional Republicans, the next at the Fed, then at Mattis.
"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed border security," Trump tweeted shortly after noon on Christmas Eve.
"At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about," the president continued. "Crazy!"