Sources within and close to the embattled White House of Donald Trump report a chaotic operation “out of control” with “morale at its lowest point yet” and a “circle the wagons” mentality driven by increasing pressure from special counsel Robert Mueller’s tightening noose.
“The dominant feeling is that the end of near,” says one aide who says he is polishing up his resume and looking for a way out of “the madness here.”
With the sudden, and may say devastating resignation of White House communications director Hope Hicks, the crosshairs now focus on presidential daughter Ivanka Trump and her discredited husband Jared Kushner, who may be leaving Washington to return to New York in disgrace.
Called “Jivanka” by White House chief of staff John Kelly, the power couples’ access to Trump is considered a problem by even her daddy. Trump has told close associates that he thinks Ivanka and her husband “would be better off” is they returned to New York.
Kushner’s loss of his top-secret security clearance — which was only an “interim” one pending a full background investigation that he eventually failed — and the still pending one for Ivanka have turned them into presidential assistants without access to important materials and a bigger target for Mueller.
Newly exposed information that Kushner’s financial problems with his debt-laden real estate business made him a “ripe target” for manipulation by China, the Arab Emigrates and other questionable nations along with details of loans he received from financial concerns right after he met with them at the White House suggest he could be the next indictments by the special counsel.
That indictment puts Mueller another step closer to Trump himself, whose erratic behavior, hair-trigger temper and questionable actions generate serious concern that he’s “coming apart” and could suffer from dementia, which hobbled his father.
“I think the president is starting to wobble in his emotional stability and this is not going to end well,” retired four-star general Barry McCaffrey tells The Washington Post. “Trump’s judgment is fundamentally flawed, and the more pressure put on him and the more isolated he becomes, I think, his ability to do harm is going to increase.”
White House aides say Trump spends evening alone in the residential section of the White House, seething with anger over media coverage of his failures and worsening situation.
“Trump’s fundamentally distorted personality — which at its core is chaotic, volatile and transgressive — when combined with the powers of the presidency had to end poorly,” says Peter Wehner, veteran of the three previous Republican administrations and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “What we’re now seeing is the radiating effects of that, and it’s enveloped him, his White House, his family and his friends.”
“Morale is the worst it’s ever been,” a Republican strategist with White House access tells the Post. “Nobody knows what to expect.”
Trump’s staff turnover is far higher than over president and aides predict it will rise even more as those who thought they could deal with the erratic boss are giving up.
“I knew a job here would be tough,” says another aide who is looking to leave. “Tough does not even come close to describe what is happening. It is impossible.”
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