According to experts and those closest to the president, the upcoming White House Correspondents Dinner is, in fact, a psychological-warfare operation that could damage--or even kill--president Donald Trump.
"We can't believe he's doing this," said a source familiar with the president's schedule, "it's like he's going directly into the lion's den. We always knew he was a warrior--but this is bravery like America has never seen before from the Oval Office."
Others were similarly impressed, and worried: "I'd say it was foolhardy," said Marina Martin, a close friend of Ivanka Trump's, "but the president has really prepared for this. He spent hours strengthening his mind, preparing for battle, and, well, he's got a plan. He knows the seating arrangements, has anticipated the attacks, memorized the schedules. I mean--it's going to be all out war--but Trump thinks he can win. Ivanka's really nervous though, I can tell you."
White House staffers compared the upcoming dinner to the episode of HBO's Game of Thrones where a trial by combat positioned The Mountain against a challenger called the Red Viper.
"In that story," Our source said, "the hero was overconfident. He paid for it. We're concerned that Trump may be going ahead with something that he won't be able to handle. Like in the show, where the villain used a sneaky, poisoned weapon, the correspondents may have something up their sleeve that he hasn't prepared for."
Psychologists noted that the last time Mr. Trump engaged the White House correspondents dinner, he suffered several critical hits and lost "substantial" Ego-Points.
"Being made fun of," said Dr. Erslow Bernkoff, "is kind of his Achilles Heel--his Kryptonite, if you will. The president is a very strong man--in the geo-political sense--but that comes with a certain . . . fragility. He can't stand to be criticized. He doesn't do well with being made fun of. He holds grudges and lets things get to him. Why do you think he's up in the middle of the night tweeting? This stuff is in his head."
Staffers around Mr. Trump have been careful to keep him from seeing any negative media stories and are attempting to prevent him from reading critical tweets. "He's a lion," said Hope Hicks, his personal assistant, "But even lions sometimes have a problem with being made fun of or mildly disrespected. He's so brave--" she added, tearing up and taking a moment to gather herself, "to go into that dinner. We're all so worried--but he's so--courageous."
White House Press Secretary said that Vice President Pence would be moved to a "highly secure, undisclosed location" for the duration of the WHCD "in case of the worst. The military has moved to Defense Condition 3, in anticipation that external enemies of America might see the dinner as a "window of weakness. The National Security Agency and CIA are monitoring "electronic chatter."
"We're told that many sources, both foreign and domestic, are sharing dangerous jokes on Social Media," said a source from the CIA speaking off the record. "We're monitoring closely--if any hazardous remarks, such as about Mr. Trump's allegedly small hands, net-wealth, or ability to satisfy FLOTUS are thought to be making it into the dinner, we are ready to respond."
As of this time, Mr. Trump is resolute in his intention to attend--ready for battle--and unbowed.