impeached for a second time and wallows in ‘self-pity’ and ‘isolation’
- Trump has reportedly ordered aides not to pay Rudy Giuliani’s legal fees
- He is also demanding to personally scrutinize all of Giuliani’s travel expenses
- Giuliani had billed $20,000 per day to aid Trump’s quest to challenge election
- Insiders say increasingly frustrated Trump is lashing out at his inner circle
- ‘Self-pitying’ president is isolated from all but a few remaining aides, they say
- Giuliani failed to stop election certification or prevent Twitter’s lifetime ban
- His speech calling for ‘trial by combat’ was also cited in House impeachment
- Now Trump has to gather his legal team for Senate impeachment trial
- He is reportedly courting legal scholar John Eastman for impeachment team
Although Trump has been exceptionally furious with Vice President Mike Pence, his relationship with lawyer Rudy Giuliani, one of his most steadfast defenders, is also fracturing, according to people with knowledge of the dynamics between the men.
Trump has instructed aides not to pay Giuliani’s legal fees, two officials said, and has demanded that he personally approve any reimbursements for the expenses Giuliani incurred while traveling on the president’s behalf to challenge election results in key states. They said Trump has privately expressed concern with some of Giuliani’s moves and did not appreciate a demand from Giuliani for $20,000 a day in fees for his work attempting to overturn the election.
As he watched impeachment quickly gain steam, Trump was upset generally that virtually nobody is defending him – including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, according to a senior administration official.
It comes as Trump is said to be increasingly isolated in the final days of his term, lashing out even at once-trusted members of his loyal inner circle, as he faces legal jeopardy from multiple fronts and challenges to his family’s business after leaving office.
Stripped of his ability to air his grievances on Twitter and after the House on Wednesday voted to impeach him for a second time, Trump is said by insiders to be wallowing in ‘self-pity’ and furious that his allies aren’t publicly defending him.
Trump is said to be increasingly isolated in his final days in office, lashing out even at once-trusted members of his loyal inner circle. He is seen above on Tuesday
President Donald Trump has reportedly ordered aides not to pay the legal fees of his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, angered at his demands for $20,000 per day
“The president is pretty wound up,” said the senior administration official, who, like some others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. “No one is out there.”
One of Trump’s few confidants these days is Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who broke with the president last week over attempts to overturn the election only to be welcomed back in the president’s good graces a couple of days later. Graham traveled to Texas on Tuesday in what was Trump’s last scheduled presidential trip, spending hours with Trump aboard Air Force One, talking about impeachment and planning how Trump should spend his final days in office.
“The president has come to grips with it’s over,” Graham said, referring to the election. “That’s tough. He thinks he was cheated, but nothing’s going to change that.”
Trump asked Graham to lobby fellow senators to acquit him in his eventual impeachment trial, which Graham did from Air Force One as he worked through a list of colleagues to phone. A few senators called Trump aboard the presidential aircraft on Tuesday to notify him of their intent to acquit. During the flight home, Graham said, he tried to calm Trump after Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House GOP leader, announced that she would vote to impeach.
“I just told him, ‘Listen, Mr. President, there are some people out there who were upset before and are upset now, but I assure you, most Republicans believe impeachment is bad for the country and not necessary and it would do damage to the institution of the presidency itself,” Graham recalled. He said he told Trump, “The people who are calling on impeachment are not representative of the [Republican] conferences.”