President Trump is vulnerable and angry and believes he is unprotected, particularly with the “Russia investigation steamrolling ahead,” according to an anonymously sourced story on his inner thought processes in the Washington Post.
Under a headline that declared without evidence “Trump feels angry, unprotected amid mounting crises,” Post White House staffers Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker pointed to Trump’s remarks about Attorney General Jeff Sessions as proof the president is losing his grip.
“President Trump’s declaration that ‘I don’t have an attorney general’ was not merely the cry of an executive feeling betrayed by a subordinate.
“It was also a raw expression of vulnerability and anger from a president who associates say increasingly believes he is unprotected – with the Russia investigation steamrolling ahead, anonymous administration officials seeking to undermine him and the specter of impeachment proceedings, should the Democrats retake the House on Nov. 6.”
Trump has bashed Sessions repeatedly for recusing himself from the Russia investigation and failing to investigate misdeeds in the Department of Justice and FBI concerning their investigations of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
But Trump saying, “I don’t have an attorney general; it’s very sad,” to The Hill “brought his criticism to a new level.”
Parker and Rucker said all this panic may be hard to detect by normal Americans.
“Publicly, at least, Trump is going through the ordinary motions of being president,” they wrote. “He met with the visiting president of Poland and on Wednesday toured the flood-ravaged Carolinas to survey damage from Hurricane Florence. He also prepared to hit the campaign trail with rallies in Nevada on Thursday and in Missouri on Friday, and next week he will host scores of foreign dignitaries at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan.”
Later, it notes that “in some respects, Trump has maintained a sanguine outlook.” He’s been “uncharacteristically calm about the plea deal” for former campaign manager Paul Manafort and even told reporters he’s not worried about Manafort cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. “I believe that he will tell the truth. And if he tells the truth, no problem,” it quotes Trump as saying.
He has supported his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the story notes, but he has held off on criticizing his accuser, whom he has said should be heard.
But anonymous sources say things aren’t rosy at all.
“Behind the scenes … Trump is confronting broadsides from every direction – legal, political and personal,” Rucker and Parker wrote.
His family and longtime loyalists don’t know who to trust, particular after they were “rattled by a pair of devastating, unauthorized insider accounts this month from inside the White House,” they wrote, referring to an anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times that the administration now suspects was written by someone outside the White House and Bob Woodward’s book, “Fear,” which several cabinet members, past and present, have said characterized their roles and remarks inaccurately.
“Everybody in the White House now has to look around and ask, ‘Who’s taping? Who’s leaking? And who’s on their way out the door?’ It’s becoming a game of survival,’” the Post wrote, quoting a “Republican strategist who works in close coordination with the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly.”
And it’s not just White House officials who should be worried, it’s the American people as well, the Post says. It quotes Joyce Vance, President Obama’s Democrat appointee as U.S. Attorney for Alabama, saying Trump is a threat to the rule of law.
“Trump doesn’t just blur the lines, he flat out tries to eradicate those lines,” Vance said. “He wants a consigliere, not an attorney general. On the one hand, it’s a pitiful thing to watch, but it’s also deadly serious because the attorney general does not protect the president. The attorney general protects the American people. And the fact that we have a president who doesn’t understand that is alarming.”