It seems that, although President Donald Trump is putting on a show of being unconcerned about the Robert Mueller III indictments, he and other members of his administration are freaking out behind the scenes.
"Here’s what Manafort’s indictment tells me: Mueller is going to go over every financial dealing of Jared Kushner and the Trump Organization. Trump is at 33 percent in Gallup. You can’t go any lower. He’s f**ked," Sam Nunberg, a former Trump adviser, told Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair also noted that many West Wing advisers are starting to enter self-preservation mode. This include Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, who have made a point of leaving any room when the Russia scandal is raised.
While Trump's lawyer, Ty Cobb, has argued that the president should cooperate with Mueller and work to improve his approval ratings, that attitude is not shared by Breitbart executive Steve Bannon and Republican political consultant Roger Stone. Bannon has urged Trump to hire an additional lawyer to dilute some of Cobb's influence and replace him with a more aggressive alternative, while Stone has urged Trump to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the controversial Uranium One deal allegedly involving Hillary Clinton.
"You would immediately have to inform Mueller, Comey, and [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein that they are under federal investigation. Trump can’t afford to fire Mueller politically. But this pushes him aside," Stone told Vanity Fair.
Both Bannon and Stone agree on another point — that Jared Kushner has given Trump terrible political advice in terms of handling the Russia scandal. Trump was reported to have agreed with them, specifically blaming Kushner for the administration's mishandlings of the firings of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI Director James Comey.
Bannon was also reported to have conducted a spitball analysis of which members of Trump's cabinet would support him if the 25th Amendment were invoked — which would allow a president to be removed from office due to lack of fitness. The former chief strategist has concluded that Trump could be forcibly removed from office if the amendment was invoked.