After President Donald Trump emerged from the hospital and hit the campaign trail, many observers wondered if his behavior had been altered by the steroids he took as part of his treatment for COVID-19.
However, former White House officials who spoke with The Atlantic's Peter Nicholas say that it's more likely that the president's wild mood swings are being influenced by his dread of losing the 2020 presidential election to Democratic rival Joe Biden.
“He’s down and he’s likely to lose,” one former Trump official tells Nicholas. “This is fear.”
The official also says that the kind of behavior Trump is exhibiting is something that White House insiders saw on a regular basis.
"There’s no way to put lipstick on this pig," they explain. "The guy is nuts."
Former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen similarly tells Nicholas that the pressures of trailing behind Biden in the 2020 race are making him lash out more than usual.
Specifically, Cohen said that the president appears to be in a "hyper-agitated state" because he knows "he's going to lose the election," which is "intensifying everything that we're seeing."