Trump is in the bunker now, facing his final week in the White House and quite possibly his final days as a free man before the charges are leveled against him after Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Facing the long, orange darkness of his own abyss, he turns now to punishing those who have failed him.
When Donald Trump on Wednesday became the first president ever impeached twice, he did so as a leader increasingly isolated, sullen and vengeful.
With less than seven days remaining in his presidency, Trump’s inner circle is shrinking, offices in his White House are emptying, and the president is lashing out at some of those who remain. He is angry that his allies have not mounted a more forceful defense of his incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol last week, advisers and associates said.
Though Trump has been exceptionally furious with Vice President Pence, his relationship with lawyer Rudolph W. 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 C. O’Brien and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, according to a senior administration official.
“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.”
As King Trumpoden sits on his pyrite toilet throne in his Golden Hall of Shame, he is attended by Grahama Wormtongue.
One of Trump’s few confidants these days is Sen. Lindsey O. 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 (Wyo.), the No. 3 House GOP leader, announced 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.”
I mean technically Graham is right, the majority of Republicans back Trump over McConnell still. But the trick is that it only will take 17 Republican senators -- just one-third of the caucus -- to convict. The "majority" of the GOP isn't needed to bring Trump to justice.
Besides, he may be indicted before the Senate trial even gets underway.
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