President Donald Trump’s disastrous performance since his news conference alongside Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has sent West Wing morale to its lowest level since the Charlottesville fiasco almost a year ago.
As happened last August, when the president refused to condemn neo-Nazi demonstrators, Trump’s attempts to tamp down outrage have backfired.
Stilted statements followed by ad-libbed remarks left even his allies feeling that while the president was technically acknowledging a mistake, he actually meant what he’d said on the first go-round — that he believed Putin’s denials of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“People are just depressed,” said one Republican close to the White House. “Nobody wants to take on the public heat of resigning right now, but there are a bunch of people who were thinking maybe they’d leave after the midterms who are very seriously starting to consider accelerating their timetable.”There are people from his real estate and television days who speak well of him, say he had an empowering and thoughtful leadership style, but the more I witness of his style at this job, the more I have to believe those are outlier assessments.