DONALD Trump has only been in office for six months and already it feels like six years. I had thought of writing a column parodying the events of the past week as a proffered script for an episode of The West Wing — an episode which is rejected for being too fantastical. However, reality is beyond parody.

Monday: Trump publicly denounces his own top law officer, the attorney general Jeff Sessions. Later, he turns a speech before the annual Boy Scouts of America Jamboree into a political rant against his opponents and the media. The Boy Scouts are forced to apologise for any offence caused.

Tuesday: Trump tells a campaign rally that “with the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.”

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Wednesday: by tweet, Trump bans transgender people from serving in the US armed forces. Neither the joint chiefs of staff nor the defence secretary are aware of the policy change.

Thursday: news breaks that Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new head of communications, has called White House chief of staff Reince Priebus a “f***ing paranoid schizophrenic”. For good measure, Scaramucci also badmouths Steven Bannon, ostensibly Trump’s chief strategist.

Friday: Trump is speaking to police officers in Long Island, suggesting they use violence against arrested suspects: “You just see them thrown in, rough — I said, please don’t be too nice”. Then just before 5pm, Trump tweets that Priebus has been replaced as chief of staff by ex-Marine General John Kelly, a fervent supporter of building the US/Mexico border wall. Had West Wing scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin penned this, it would have been rejected out of hand as too fantastical. Especially as it would have included former Republican presidential candidate John McCain — newly diagnosed with brain cancer — rushing back to Washington to help vote down Trump’s bill to repeal Obamacare. Plus another scary North Korean missile test.

Of course, there is a degree of logic in all this madness — admittedly, only a smidgen. Trump thrives on political chaos. For starters, his daily tweets totally disrupt the traditional news cycle, giving him the initiative. Second, reading between the lines, Trump is slowly but surely getting rid of the in-house traditionalists like Priebus who were wished on him by the Republican National Committee.

All this would make greater logic if Donald Trump had a political goal in mind. But as the days go by it is clear he has no plan. There were sections of the articulate American right who believed Trump was going to redefine US conservatism in the wake of the battering it took after the 2008 banking crash. But after last week, many on the neo-conservative right are drawing the conclusion that Trump cannot be contained or channelled. After Trump’s tweets about attorney general Sessions, the ultra-conservative Weekly Standard magazine – flagship of the neo-cons – concluded acidly: “Trump’s subordinates and allies may believe in Trumpism, but the president has a much different and much simpler definition. He equates Trumpism with whatever enhances the notoriety of Donald J Trump and the well-being of the Trump family. As those subordinates and allies discover this regrettable truth … the prospect of a move back to Trump Tower may look more appealing than ever.”

But is there any conceivable way of forcing The Donald back to Trump Tower? Basically there are only four ways a president won’t see out a term. The simple ways are death or voluntary resignation (like Nixon). Next comes removal by the president’s cabinet, under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. This happens if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet believe the president is unable “to discharge the powers and duties of office”. Finally, there is impeachment proper. This entails a House majority approval of articles of impeachment, then a trial in the Senate, and ultimately a two-thirds Senate verdict in favour of removal.

Let’s leave aside death, which I won’t wish on The Donald. Using the 25th Amendment requires the wholesale mutiny of vice president Mike Pence and the cabinet. But these were appointed by Trump himself. Besides, as we’ve seen, Trump will fire anyone he thinks disloyal. Most legal experts think the only likely point at which a cabinet would try to remove a president would be the threat of the White House going bonkers and threatening to launch a risky nuclear strike. The current Trump cabinet would nuke North Korea in a microsecond.

Which leaves impeachment. The legal benchmark to impeach is that a president has committed “high crimes and misdemeanours”. That’s a tough call to prove. We have only two precedents: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and of Bill Clinton in 1998. In both cases, impeachment required prima face proof that the president had done something to prejudice constitutional order. In the case of Clinton, the crimes alleged were perjury and obstruction — not being fellated by an intern.

Of course, Trump is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller over alleged involvement with the Russians during the election campaign. Trump himself appointed Mueller but is now anxious to be rid of him. Hence the need to fire Jeff Sessions in order to appoint a new attorney general who will do the deed. Hence also Trump’s interest in whether he can pardon himself.

BUT don’t get your hopes up. Even supposing Mueller stays on and finds evidence that Trump has committed a “high crime”, what happens then? The view of most experts is that he would not have the constitutional authority to indict a sitting president. The matter would be in the hands of the House of Representatives, which is Republican controlled. Would they have the stomach to do anything?

Even if they were so minded, to impeach Trump successfully requires the support of two-thirds of the Senate. That’s 67 votes. Currently the Democrats have only 48 votes. You can’t even count on all of those being anti-Trump: 10 Democratic senators are up for re-election in 2018 in states Trump won. Assuming every Democrat votes to impeach Trump, you still need 19 Republicans to join in. Some 49 of the 52 existing Republican senators come from states Trump carried. Sadly, this arithmetic suggests Trump will stay at the White House for some time to come.

I could be wrong. Perhaps we really are only one more scandal away from Trump’s political demise. Perhaps he will fire Mueller. Maybe that will be the straw that shocks Republicans into action on Capitol Hill. But a bigger worry has to be that Trump, like any demagogue, will respond to action by Congress by opting for ever more extreme nationalist rhetoric. Which brings us back to the growing confrontation with North Korea. We could be one tweet away from a nuclear confrontation with Pyongyang.

In this fraught situation, the last thing the UK's Conservative government should be doing is cosying up to Trump just because it needs to convince itself there’s some (bogus) trade deal in the offing with the White House. In this toxic game, Donald Trump is using the UK more that Downing Street is using him. And he’s got another three-and-a-half years to string Westminster along.