Based on his public words and behavior alone, it’s been fairly easy to see over the past week that Donald Trump isn’t taking recent events particularly well. The Paul Manafort guilty verdict, the Michael Cohen plea deal, and the David Pecker and Allen Weisselberg immunity deals all landed within days of each other, each uglier for Trump than the last. Now it turns out that behind the scenes, Trump is taking the news even worse.
Donald Trump spent this past weekend “calling people and screaming” at them, according to a new Vanity Fair profile, which also says that Trump knows he’s been “cornered.” As for the various people working inside Trump’s White House, they’re reportedly feeling a sense of “numbness and dread” over what comes next. But this dire report came out before things managed to take an even uglier turn for Team Trump.
This evening we learned from the Wall Street Journal that Paul Manafort tried to negotiate a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller the week before last, and that it was Mueller who wasn’t willing to give Manafort the kind of deal he was hoping for. This tells us that Mueller has such a strong case against Donald Trump, he doesn’t even need Manafort’s help. It also tells us that if Manafort’s next trial starts to go badly for him, the odds are good that Manafort will take whatever deal is on the table.
So if Donald Trump was already reduced to screaming into the phone all weekend while admitting that he had been cornered, the Manafort news has got to leave him feeling even more outraged and cornered. Trump’s own people keep selling him out left and right, because they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in prison, like he will.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report