As President Trump made history tonight as the only US president to be impeached twice, one White House adviser said “everybody’s angry at everyone” inside the White House, with the President being upset because he thinks people aren’t defending him enough.
“He’s in self-pity mode,” the source said.
The view among many close to Trump is “his actions led to here, no one else,” adding, “he instigated a mob to charge on the Capitol building to stop decertification, he’s not going to find a lot of sympathetic Republicans.”
During the last impeachment effort, Trump allies in and out of the White House publicly defended him and sent out talking points throughout the impeachment proceeding.
Today, it was the President who was left to fend for himself at the White House, releasing a statement first given to Fox News denouncing further violence, followed by a five-minute video that struck a very different tone than his first message following the attack on the Capitol last week. Aides scrambled to find a way to release the video, worried that even a contrite Trump might have his videos taken down.
Also, there was no organized effort to send out talking points, unlike his first impeachment.
Many White House staffers have left or resigned since the riots, including Trump’s once longtime confidante Hope Hicks. Another person close to the White House said “he’s been holed up in the residence, that’s never a good thing.
"He’s by himself, not a lot of people to bounce ideas off of, whenever that happens he goes to his worst instincts. Now that Twitter isn’t available God only knows what the outlet will be," the source said.
One outlet Trump is focused on is wielding what power he has left: pardons. Multiple sources told CNN the next batch of pardons could come as soon as Thursday, in part to distract from the current narrative.
One of the sources also noted that Trump was planning to give New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor tomorrow, but Belichick refused. Announcing some pardons could replace that, especially if there are some high-profile ones.
Moving forward: Another question that lingers is whether Trump will pardon himself and his children.
One person close to Trump believes it’s a bad idea for him to pardon himself and his kids in the wake of the riots, but that he wants to exercise what remaining power he has.