WITH Donald Trump almost a year into his turbulent term as US President, very little which comes out of the White House has the power to shock.

From damaging allegations about his election campaign’s links to the Russia, to the sudden split from chief strategist Steve Bannon to his firing of FBI director James Comey, it has been one drama after another.

Would the new year mean a new leaf being turned over by Mr Trump? Not a bit of it. His response to claims about his mental health in Michael Wollf’s book Fire and Fury have included calling the author a fraud and the book a “work of fiction”, stating his own level of intelligence as “like, really smart” and declaring himself a “very stable genius”.

Setting aside for a minute how accurate the book is, engaging in this kind of slanging match is not fitting for someone in such high office. Sadly though, it has become all too common, and while Mr Trump spends his time collecting IQ stats and sending furious late-night tweets from his phone, his administration is facing mounting challenges.

Abroad, there are the continuing tensions with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a decision to be made on whether or not the US will certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama.

At home, there are deadlines approaching on federal government funding and health insurance for children from low income families.

It’s time Mr Trump concentrated his genius on crucial matters such as these, rather than boosting his own ego via social media.