Even Trump's Loyal Aides Have "Given Up"
It's been perhaps the roughest week of Donald Trump's presidency, with even a couple of GOP lawmakers now saying the word "impeachment" out loud. Following the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, a landslide of bad news and damaging leaks have followed, punctuated by reports that Comey detailed an alleged request to halt the FBI's investigation of Mike Flynn in a Feb. 14 memo. Several reports have also suggested things are falling apart among White House officials, too ― for example, CNN's Gloria Borger says some Trump loyalists have "given up" on him, unsure how the current swamp of scandals and infighting will ever resolve.
Borger appeared alongside politics reporter Chris Cillizza and chief political correspondent Dana Bash to discuss the current state of affairs in the White House, and more specifically, what her Republican sources around Washington were telling her. Making it clear that she had spoken to a "Donald Trump loyalist," the picture she painted was about as far from functional and hopeful as it gets:
I think these people have sort of given up on Donald Trump, to be honest with you, and I don't know whether they've said that to him. But let me read to you what this one Trump loyalist said to me, and he does speak with Donald Trump quite frequently. He said, "I always thought that once he understood the weight of the office, he would rise to the occasion. Now I don't."
Borger went on to detail a conversation with another source, one who said people inside of the administration simply can't predict what's going to happen next. "I had another source say to me yesterday, that people inside the White House were disconsolate, was the word that he used," Borger said. "And he said, look, these are the loyalists, these aren't the mercenaries who are coming in and out. These are the people who really care about what happens to Donald Trump, and at this juncture, they just have no idea what's going to come next, and how the president is going to get out of this."
This sentiment echoes recent anonymous statements from White House officials that have appeared in the press. A report from the Daily Beast on Tuesday relayed the following quote, attributed to a "senior official in the Trump administration, who previously worked on the president’s campaign": "I don’t see how Trump isn’t completely f--ked."
Needless to say, these are uncertain times for the administration. It's also already proven to be one of the leakiest administrations in modern American history, which means more grim, anonymous quotes like these are a safe bet to trickle out in the days and weeks to come. For what it's worth, the White House staff will soon be ever more disconnected from the president than usual, as well ― his first big trip abroad is scheduled to begin with a stop in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, May 20.