Trump was blindsided when appointees testified against him: 'All he could do is sit back and watch'
Donald Trump (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

President Donald Trump feels "powerless" over impeachment and is particularly shocked over the fact that many of his own appointees came forward to give evidence against him, Sonam Sheth wrote for Business Insider.

"He's called them Never Trumpers, but these people worked for him, and some still do," said one source. "For a man who puts personal loyalty above everything else, this was something he never saw coming. He couldn't stop them, so he decided to smear them, but at the end of the day, all he could do is sit back and watch it happen."

Some of the most damning testimony in the House impeachment trial came from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a hotelier that Trump appointed to the role after a hefty gift to the Trump inaugural fund, and a person who — on paper — Trump must have thought would be unswervingly loyal. Sondland told lawmakers that he believed there was a quid pro quo attached to Trump's demand for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, and that he was working with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine affairs at the direction of the president.

Trump reportedly also feels enraged by the impeachment process because the allegations feed into the narrative that he did not win office legitimately and cannot be re-elected legitimately either.

"Asked about Trump's mind-set in recent days, one Republican strategist in frequent contact with the White House, who requested anonymity to discuss internal conversations, told Insider Trump was incensed about impeachment because he believes it undermines his political prowess," wrote Sheth. "'One way or another, everything goes back to 2016,' the strategist said. 'For two years after he took office, the president had the Russia cloud hanging over him. To him, that investigation was synonymous with the belief that he didn't win the White House on his own, that he had help from the Russians ... Looking ahead with the 2020 election, he's facing new allegations once again that he needs outside help to win an election, that he can't do it on his own. And he thinks that's bulls---.'"

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