Donald Trump is “emotionally withdrawing” and gaining weight as the FBI investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Russian government creeps closer to the Oval Office.
As he returns from his mercurial trip abroad, the president is forced to deal with the fallout from news that members of his inner circle, including son-in-law and “Secretary of Everything” Jared Kushner is a person of interest in the FBI probe.
CNN’s Gloria Borger reports the president was already "in a pretty glum mood” when he set out for a multi-day blitz through Europe and the Middle East. But now he faces even more legal woes after reports revealed Kushner tried to establish a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. He’s even brought on his longtime personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, who will “supervise” the president’ legal team.
One source told Borger Trump’s major misstep was firing former FBI Director James Comey, which ultimately resulted int he appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
"Allowing a special counsel to happen was idiocy," a Trump ally told Borger. "Special counsels never end well.”
Commenting on the White House’s less-than-strategic handling of all matters Russia, another ally remarked, “These guys don't play chess. They play checkers.”
The culmination of distracting and damaging scandals at the White House have caused the president to withdraw from others, a source told CNN.
"He now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for Donald Trump to be,” a confidante said. ”I see him emotionally withdrawing. He's gained weight. He doesn't have anybody whom he trusts.”
And as the president receives conflicting advice from aides and officials, there’s concern over whether the president will even listen to the information. "No one is giving him the landscape—this is how it works, this is what you should do or not do,” a friend told Borger. “And no one has enough control—or security—to do that.”
Instead, the president hopes for a magic bullet to quell the Russia scandal.
"He's sitting there saying, like he does with everything, 'You guys work for me. Fix this,’” a source said.