As previously reported, last week was the worst of Trump’s *residency, if not of his entire life. The split screen images of Manafort and Cohen on TV sets world wide, along with the announcement of immunity for both his accountant, Allen Weisselberg and his buddy at the National Enquirer, David Pecker, drove Trump to ever greater levels of unhingery. Vanity Fair:
After Cohen effectively named Trump an unindicted co-conspirator in campaign-finance crimes with the payments to Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, Trump’s public posture was that the payments weren’t crimes. Privately, according to two sources, Trump attorneys suggested that a strategy for dealing with the issue could be for Trump to admit to having affairs with women and paying hush money to them for years. That way, he could assert that the payments to Daniels and McDougal were normal business—not campaign donations meant to influence the 2016 election. Trump, according to the sources, rejected this advice. “It was because of Melania,” one source said.
Inside the West Wing, a sense of numbness and dread has set in among senior advisers as they gird for what Trump will do next. “It’s a return to the abyss,” said one former official who’s in frequent contact with the White House. “This is back to being a one-man show, and everyone is on the outside looking in.” […]
Flying on Air Force One to his West Virginia rally last week, Trump seemed “bummed” and “down and out,” a person briefed on his mood told me. “He was acting like, ‘I know the news is bad, but I don’t know what to do about it,’” the source said. At the rally, an uncharacteristically subdued Trump barely mentioned Cohen or Manafort.
By the weekend, though, his anger had returned. “He spent the weekend calling people and screaming,” one former White House official said. According to sources, the president feels cornered with no clear way out. His months-long campaign to get Sessions to resign—so that Trump could appoint a new A.G. who would shut down the Russia probe—not only failed to get Sessions to step down, but it’s caused him to dig in, as evidenced by Sessions’s rare statement asserting the independence of the Justice Department. “Trump knows at least through the midterms he won’t get another A.G.,” a former White House official said.
So the saga of Trump continues, but not for very much longer. Cohen was paid off by the Trump Organization. Cohen’s guilty plea to campaign finance violations makes further investigation into the Trump Organization, and Donald Trump, inevitable. Trump’s headaches have just begun and he hasn’t even spoken one word yet to Robert Mueller.