The president reportedly asked the FBI director to stop investigating Trump’s top national-security aide—a bombshell that has an already-beleaguered White House begging for mercy.
For this story, The Daily Beast spoke with nine current and former administration and law enforcement officials, most on the condition of anonymity so they could speak freely.
Trump administration officials described the current state of affairs in the West Wing as expectedly chaotic and anxious—but having an almost “numbing effect,” as one described it—as White House staff and senior Trump aides frantically jumped from one crisis and negative news cycle to the next.
“I feel like running down the hallway with a fire extinguisher,” one senior Trump administration official told The Daily Beast, in response to an inquiry regarding Tuesday’s developments.
On the heels of yet another round of bad press that started on Monday—reports that the president shared classified national security information with top Russian diplomats in an Oval Office meeting last week—Tuesday’s reports on Comey’s memo sent another wave of frustration through a White House already reeling from a week of intense media scrutiny.
“Every time I feel like we’re getting a handle on the last Russia fiasco, a new one pops,” a White House staffer told The Daily Beast on Monday evening. On Tuesday, after reports of the Comey memo began to circulate, the staffer revised that assessment: “I guess I was wrong about the timing,” the staffer said. “We can’t even wrap up one Russia fiasco before we’re on to the next one.”
A senior official in the Trump administration, who previously worked on the president’s campaign, offered a candid and brief assessment of the fallout from that string of bad press: “I don’t see how Trump isn’t completely fucked.”
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