President Donald Trump remains confident that he will be able to beat the rap on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into his alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign, but other Republicans are not so sure, the Washington Post reported in a deeply sourced piece Saturday.
"Trump remains headstrong in his belief that he can outsmart adversaries and weather any threats, according to advisers. In the Russia probe, he continues to roar denials, dubiously proclaiming that the latest allegations of wrongdoing by his former associates 'totally clear' him," the report says.
This confidence is not shared by other Republicans.
"Some GOP senators were particularly shaken by last week’s revelation that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had met with Mueller’s team 19 separate times — a distressing signal to them that the probe may be more serious than they had been led to assume," the report said, sourcing the information to "senior Republican officials."
"Anxiety is spiking among Republican allies, who complain that Trump and the White House have no real plan for dealing with the Russia crisis while confronting a host of other troubles at home and abroad," the report says.
Inside the GOP they see Trump as having a “shrugged shoulders” strategy for the Mueller findings.
Among those who spoke on the record was former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who said that Trump should be prepared for “siege warfare” but isn't.
“The Democrats are going to weaponize the Mueller report and the president needs a team that can go to the mattresses,” Bannon said. “The president can’t trust the GOP to be there when it counts . . . They don’t feel any sense of duty or responsibility to stand with Trump.”
Trump's team is going to "wing it," revealed a former White House official.
“A war room? You serious?” the source said. “They’ve never had one, will never have one. They don’t know how to do one.”
Retiring sometimes-Trump critic Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who was replaced by a Democrat in the 2018 midterms, said the GOP is in deep trouble.
“It’s like the party is a frog slowly boiling in water, being conditioned to not be worried, to not think too hard about what’s happening around them,” Flake told the Post. “They feel at a loss about what to do because it’s the president’s party, without any doubt. So, there’s a lot of whistling by the graveyard these days.”
Read the full report here.