President Donald Trump pauses during a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Trump feels "totally and completely abandoned": report

President Trump sulks in shutdown DC with only Twitter to turn to as he grows increasingly isolated


Shira Tarlo
December 24, 2018 4:11PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump has told associates he feels "totally and completely abandoned" by his inner circle and "more sure of his own judgment and more cut off from anyone else's than at any point since taking office," the New York Times reported. Trump's isolation, which is reportedly growing, and apparent sulking on Twitter comes just two weeks before the Democrats seize control of the House of Representatives and "may feel empowered to launch an investigation into his family, business, campaign and administration," the Times reported.

At some point after that, he will face the results of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation about his 2016 presidential campaign's ties to the Russian government and obstruction of justice. It is not yet known what Mueller will say about Trump. So far, four defendants in Mueller's probe — Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates and Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan — have pleaded guilty to the same crime of lying to investigators. Michael Flynn, the president's former national security adviser, is expected to be sentenced in March for lying about his communications with Russian officials. Flynn has also come under intense scrutiny by federal prosecutors over his lobbying firm's failure to disclose its work on behalf of foreign governments.

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In addition, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who will soon wield the speaker's gavel held until now by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.,"may come under enormous pressure from her liberal base to open an impeachment inquiry, and many Republicans anticipate a battle over whether Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors, even if they hold enough votes in the Senate to block removal," according to the Times. Notably, a "rising budget deficit that will shrink Mr. Trump’s domestic options and signs of a possible economic downturn that would undercut his most potent bragging point," the Times added.

And although Trump is celebrating his most significant bipartisan legislative win so far, praising the passage of a landmark criminal justice reform by the Senate, the Democratic Party has "gone from thinking it could make deals with Mr. Trump to believing he must be stopped at all costs because he is so dangerous," the New York Times reported.

Trump is also facing significant backlash from fellow Republicans. They objected loudly to his abrupt announcement that he wants to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria — a decision that was praised by Russian President Vladimir Putin but was criticized by Trump's favorite morning show, "Fox & Friends" — and pushed through a Senate resolution essentially condemning his response to Saudi Arabia after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of American resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In addition, Defense Secretary James Mattis, who did not agree with Trump's thinking and decision on Syria, announced his resignation last week.

The president is also dealing with the aftermath of a partial government shutdown that could drag into 2019. House conservatives criticized the president's apparent softening stance on securing the funds he claims are needed to build his long-promised border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to avert a partial shutdown, while Senate Republicans, who had voted unanimously to keep the government open without the $5 billion Trump had demanded for the wall, were dumbfounded when he refused to break a bitter budget standoff by rejecting any bill that doesn't include funding for his wall.

"Virtually every Democrat we are dealing with today strongly supported a Border Wall or Fence. It was only when I made it an important part of my campaign, because people and drugs were pouring into our Country unchecked, that they turned against it," Trump wrote Monday morning on Twitter. "Desperately needed!"

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In another tweet, Trump seemed to push back against lawmakers who criticized his decision on Syria.\

"To those few Senators who think I don’t like or appreciate being allied with other countries, they are wrong, I DO. What I don’t like, however, is when many of these same countries take advantage of their friendship with the United States, both in Military Protection and Trade..." he wrote. "....We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world, while at the same time these countries take total advantage of the U.S., and our TAXPAYERS, on Trade. General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO, and it is being fixed!"

On top of all of that, Trump's relationship with his children "has grown more removed" and "he feels he does not have a friend in the White House," the New York Times reported. According to the news outlet, Trump often disagrees with Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, and Ivanka Trump, his eldest daughter and a senior White House adviser:

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Always impulsive, the president increasingly believes he does not need advisers, according to people close to him. He is on his third chief of staff, third national security adviser, sixth communications director, second secretary of state, second attorney general and soon his second defense secretary. Turnover at the top has reached 65 percent, according to the Brookings Institution.

Some left in a cloud of corruption allegations, including his health and human services secretary, his Environmental Protection Agency chief and, most recently, his interior secretary. Others left after clashing with Mr. Trump. Mr. Mattis was the last of the so-called axis of adults seen by some as tempering a volatile president, following the ouster of Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of state, H. R. McMaster as national security adviser and John F. Kelly as chief of staff.


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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