President Donald Trump’s advisers are in anguish over the chief executive’s inability to control himself and not further complicate the multiple federal investigations engulfing the White House by tweeting or attacking other public figures.
The Daily Beast said Friday that Trump’s decision to lash out at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Twitter Friday morning is yet another example of the president acting rashly and undercutting the defense being spun for him in the media by his surrogates. At this point, administration aides and advisers are joking about ways to keep the president quiet.
“Has anyone read him his Miranda rights?” quipped an unnamed “senior Trump administration official” in response to Trump’s Friday morning tweet, in which he wrote, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff, Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng and Spencer Ackerman noted Friday that the “witch hunt” tweet shot down “48 hours of Trump’s allies lobbing allegations of illegal ‘deep state’ leaks and fake-news hit jobs.”
In attacking Rosenstein, Trump confirmed Wednesday’s report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing obstruction of justice charges against the president.
Trump has reportedly been fuming over the Justice Department’s handling of the Russia investigation. He was furious at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation and is also angry at Rosenstein.
“He’s furious at Rosenstein, but the list of his people who enrage him is ever-growing,” said a longtime Trump confidant to The Daily Beast. “He has no qualms about throwing [Rosenstein] under a bus.”
On Thursday night, Rosenstein issued a press release urging the media not to rely on testimony from “anonymous sources.” The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman opined that she’d never seen anything like it.
Raw Story’s Sarah K. Burris said, “The statement left the internet wondering if it was forced by President Donald Trump — or if the Justice Department was hacked. Others wondered if it meant that a tape is about to surface that shows Trump with the alleged Russian prostitutes that appeared in the previously reported British dossier.”
Friday’s Trump tweet attacking Rosenstein, the Daily Beast said, potentially just adds fuel to the fire of an obstruction investigation.
“It’s clear that this tweet has not been vetted by his [Trump’s] attorney,” said former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti to the website. “In addition to confirming that he is under investigation, the tweet makes a factual statement regarding the president’s decision to fire James Comey, which is a subject of the investigation. You can bet that when the president testifies regarding his role in Comey’s firing, he will be asked about this tweet.”
Politico said Friday that the president’s rash actions are fueling speculation by insiders in the GOP that he’s not in his right mind.
“President Trump has started the clock on the Rosenstein firing watch,” said Republican strategist Evan Siegfried. “This is feeding the private discussions in the GOP about the president’s state of mind.”