Donald Trump begins many mornings at 6:30 AM with a call with a member of his Russia defense legal team, according to a new Washington Post report on Trump’s current emotional state and the latest infighting among his top advisers.
His advisers have encouraged the calls — which the early-to-rise Trump takes from his private quarters in the White House residence — in hopes that he can compartmentalize the widening Russia investigation. By the time the president arrives for work in the Oval Office, the thinking goes, he will no longer be consumed by the Russia probe that he complains hangs over his presidency like a darkening cloud.
It rarely works, however. Asked whether the tactic was effective, one top White House adviser paused for several seconds and then just laughed.
These are the strategic minds running the White House? People who think that having Donald Trump begin his day by rehashing the thing that makes him most angry will help him set it aside and go on with his day? It’s not working, of course. Boasting 22 sources, because that’s how badly Trump’s team is leaking these days, the article reports that:
Some in the White House fret over what they view as the president’s fits of rage, and Trump’s longtime friends say his mood has been more sour than at any point since they have known him. They privately worry about his health, noting that he appears to have gained weight in recent months and that the darkness around his eyes reveals his stress.
But never fear!
... others who interact with Trump each day have a more positive interpretation of his behavior, saying his mood is far sunnier than news reports would suggest. Hope Hicks, Trump’s director of strategic communications, who sits at a desk just outside the Oval Office, said the president is optimistic and expressing the fighting spirit that appeals to voters.
Yes, people dishing anonymously about their boss or friend say something that’s partially visible to outside observers, while Trump’s communications staffer says it’s not true, and the truth is something far more flattering to her boss. Gosh, who to believe?