Questionable rapid-pace decisions spurred by President Donald Trump himself have left some allies wondering if there’s a cogent strategy in place to counter Democrats in the wake of the fast-moving impeachment inquiry.
Some people close to him believe the President is in denial about the gravity of his predicament.
A depleted West Wing now faces another storm that’s likely to distract from the few policy goals aides were hoping to accomplish by year’s end. And the President himself – even after months of anticipation – has nonetheless taken the impeachment developments hard.
“THE GREATEST SCAM IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN POLITICS!” he tweeted on Thursday morning, the screaming all-caps not reflective of the strangely quiet and dejected tone he adopted during a news conference a day earlier.
A visibly angry Trump spoke to reporters later Thursday after watching coverage of a House Intelligence Committee hearing focused on a whistleblower complaint with explosive allegations, suggesting that there could potentially be a way “through the courts” to halt the impeachment process.
“There should be a way of stopping it, maybe legally through the courts. But they’re going to tie up our country. We can’t talk about gun regulation, we can’t talk about anything, because, frankly, they’re so tied up, they’re so screwed up nothing gets done, except when I do it,” Trump added.
At a fundraiser Wednesday night, Trump greeted some of his longtime friends, who’d paid thousands of dollars to attend, with disbelief at what had unfolded since he arrived into town three days earlier, according to a person who was there. After two-and-a-half years of weathering incremental developments in the Russia investigation that did not trigger an impeachment inquiry, the speed at which the Ukraine scandal unfolded has left Trump and his aides whiplashed.
Many White House officials said they were in disbelief at how rapidly Democrats have sped up their impeachment inquiry against Trump. For years, the constant drumbeat of impeachment loomed over the White House, but officials now feel like the ground has shifted beneath them.
That the entire exercise – from the breaking dam of Democrats supporting impeachment to the release of the damning telephone log – occurred while Trump was outside Washington also fueled a sense of unmanaged chaos for beleaguered White House aides.
On Thursday morning, as a whistleblower complaint emerged alleging Trump used his power “to solicit interference” in the 2020 election, the President flashed alarm at the potential his Republican allies could begin to defect.
“THE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO DESTROY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND ALL THAT IT STANDS FOR. STICK TOGETHER, PLAY THEIR GAME, AND FIGHT HARD REPUBLICANS. OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE!” he wrote on Twitter.