Thursday, May 18, 2017

An emerging, Nixonian sense of being constantly harried by enemies

Inside an embattled Trump's most consequential evening of turmoil yet

No one inside the West Wing had to ask how the President's mood was on Wednesday afternoon as aides awaited his return from delivering the commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

A speech, once intended to offer encouragement and inspiration, became laced with grievances in the hours before the remarks were delivered.

"No politician in history -- and I say this with great surety -- has been treated worse or more unfairly," President Donald Trump told graduating ensigns, before projecting an entrenched battle to come.

"Don't give in," he said. "Don't back down."

Hours later, his words appeared to gain new meaning.

Special counsel appointed in Russia probe

Trump was meeting with FBI director candidates when the White House was formally told that a special prosecutor had been named in Russia investigation. 

The White House counsel informed the president.

"It's still sinking in," one administration official said, describing an air of uncertainty in the West Wing. 

"We were told about it. Not asked about it."

Deputy attorney general appoints special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election

In a series of tweets early Thursday, Trump decried that a special counsel was not named to investigate what he alleged were “illegal acts” by the Obama administration and the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!,” Trump wrote, misspelling the word counsel.

Less than 15 minutes later, he tweeted: “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

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