As someone whose job it is to cover the Trump administration and how it gets covered, I can tell you that Gabriel Sherman has the best gossip. The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman is perhaps the most famed Trump whisperer—as it’s clear that some of her quotes from “senior administration officials” are from the big small man himself—but Sherman provides the most devastating scoops. I mean, look at today’s headline:
“The Staff Is Fed Up He’s Acting Like a Nut”: Trump’s West Wing Braces for Christmas Madness, More Departures—And Mueller
Sherman also provides key little details that capture the true insanity of the reality which we presently occupy:
Last night, [Trump] was jovial at a White House Christmas party attended by Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Ryan Zinke, Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Diamond and Silk.
The way that roll call reads to someone who just woke up from a 3-year coma is: Trump failson, Fox News host, some dude in congress, presidential candidate, presidential candidate, uh…wut.
It’s nearly impossible to overstate how insane Trump comes off in all of Sherman’s scoops (that never get batted down or discredited—mind you, this is the guy who wrote a book about Fox News and then went up against Roger Ailes and won). This entire article reads like the unnamed White House officials (and former officials—I see you, Scaramucci) are speaking about a toddler.
Donald Trump plans to head to Mar-a-Lago for a 16-day Christmas vacation starting Friday—and West Wing officials, remembering previous sojourns, are on edge at the prospect of the president spending two weeks unsupervised. As the Robert Mueller loop tightens around the president, his erratic behavior is causing alarm among his most senior staff. “The staff is fed up he’s acting like a nut. They can’t get him to stop tweeting,” a former official said.
Here’s a sampling of Trump’s absolutely batshit insane tweeting in the last three days:
Never in the history of our Country has the “press” been more dishonest than it is today. Stories that should be good, are bad. Stories that should be bad, are horrible. Many stories, like with the REAL story on Russia, Clinton & the DNC, seldom get reported. Too bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can't be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
So where are all the missing Text messages between fired FBI agents Peter S and the lovely Lisa Page, his lover. Just reported that they have been erased and wiped clean. What an outrage as the totally compromised and conflicted Witch Hunt moves ever so slowly forward. Want them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
Remember, Michael Cohen only became a “Rat” after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY'S OFFICE! Why didn't they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked's office?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
....The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, started as the “insurance policy” long before I even got elected, is very bad for our Country. They are Entrapping people for misstatements, lies or unrelated things that took place many years ago. Nothing to do with Collusion. A Democrat Scam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
It is incredible that with a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation, the outside world blowing up around us, Paris is burning and China way down, the Fed is even considering yet another interest rate hike. Take the Victory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2018
Biggest outrage yet in the long, winding and highly conflicted Mueller Witch Hunt is the fact that 19,000 demanded Text messages between Peter Strzok and his FBI lover, Lisa Page, were purposely & illegally deleted. Would have explained whole Hoax, which is now under protest!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
Siri, please show me what witness tampering looks like.
Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
I hope the people over at the Fed will read today's Wall Street Journal Editorial before they make yet another mistake. Also, don't let the market become any more illiquid than it already is. Stop with the 50 B's. Feel the market, don't just go by meaningless numbers. Good luck!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous! Twitter, in fact, has made it much more difficult for people to join @realDonaldTrump. They have removed many names & greatly slowed the level and speed of increase. They have acknowledged-done NOTHING!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
....WILL NEVER BE PROVEN AND ARE LIKELY FALSE.” Thank you to Michael Isikoff, Yahoo, for honesty. What this means is that the FISA WARRANTS and the whole Russian Witch Hunt is a Fraud and a Hoax which should be ended immediately. Also, it was paid for by Crooked Hillary & DNC!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2018
That's him being supervised. If you want to know what Trump unsupervised looks like, we already know, and that's what worries staffers.
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Per the United States Justice Department later that year (they said this because that tweet precipitated a records request—Trump’s greatest talent is making a bad situation worse for himself):
Both FBI and NSD confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described by the March 4, 2017 tweets.
Things are so chaotic in the White House right now that new Communications Director Bill Shine reportedly told friends he’s thinking of renting his Washington D.C. apartment month-to-month. The facts of the Mueller investigation have gone past reporting, as we can now say per court filings made by both Robert Mueller and the Southern District of New York that the President of the United States committed a felony. This is so obvious Fox News has two separate legal pundits saying that this is clearly the case.
Now, Trump has likely known this for quite some time, given the fact that his legal team had access to these filings before the rest of us did. His most recent tweets are responding to whatever he’s seeing on Fox News, but they are made with the knowledge of further litigation coming down the pike—like today’s report by The Daily Beast that Mueller is about to make court filings that will enlighten us on how members of Team Trump tried to ease Russian sanctions. Trump wished Michael Flynn “good luck!” this morning, and the judge that MAGAland spent all weekend saying will be friendly to Flynn brought up the subject of treason (before later clarifying that he wasn’t insinuating Flynn committed treason, it just so happened to pop into his head while detailing Flynn’s lies that national security reporter Marcy Wheeler says clearly were intended to protect Trump).
Things are bad for Team Trump, and given the reports of new investigations opened up into his inauguration (which suggest he treated it like a mafia wedding where everyone must present a gift to the don), reality looks likely to get worse, so no wonder Rudy Giuliani is reportedly testing arguments like crimes aren’t actually crimes. The criminal-adjacent organization known as the Trump Foundation just shut down its operations under pressure from the New York Attorney General, and the walls truly are beginning to close in on a criminal who would have gotten away with all of this had he just not become president.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.