Donald Trump has been telling friends that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign will conclude by the end of the year, the Washington Post reports.
“This investigation’s going to be over with pretty soon,” Trump’s told friends at his Golf Club and Mar-a-Lago, adding his “brilliant” lawyers have assured him of a rapid conclusion to Mueller’s probe.
The president’s first year has been embroiled by multiple investigations, and his party—which controls Washington—has failed to net a single major legislative win since Trump took office. Still, friends who’ve visited with Trump describe him as being “in an unusually upbeat mood,” the Post reports.
“He creates his own reality and lives in his own reality and tries to bend reality around himself and his own deep narcissistic needs,” Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told the Post. “But, of course, in the end reality wins out, and trying to disfigure it or reinterpret it doesn’t work.”
“TrumpNation” Author Tim O’Brien echoed Wehner’s sentiment, calling the president’s projected self-confidence a staple of his resilience.
“When you look back on all the adversity he’s overcome — he’s survived three marriages, a brush with personal bankruptcy, he’s overseen several corporate bankruptcies, he’s been through withering press coverage . . . I think he tells fables to himself, about himself, to create the narrative he wants to see,” O’Brien said.
The president’s rose-colored glasses extend beyond Mueller’s investigation. Trump has reportedly taken to floating the notion that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape may not actually be him.
“He would just assert it, and people would kind of say, ‘Okay, let’s move along,’” a person who’s heard the president’s claim told the Post. “There’s no point in sitting there and litigating it with him.”
“He says, ‘It’s really not me. I don’t talk like that,’” another source said.
During the 2016 election, Trump himself admitted the veracity of that tape, in which he can be heard bragging about grabbing women “by the p*ssy” without permission. Then-candidate Trump even apologized for his language, later dismissing the tape as “locker room talk.”
And beyond the “Access Hollywood” tape, the president is also reportedly dismissing his low approval ratings as “fake,” telling friends “no president since Harry Truman” has accomplished what he has, the Post reports.
Trump on Saturday took that claim to Twitter, boasting he has “possibly done more than any 10 month President.”