U.S. President Donald Trump has increasingly isolated himself in the White House, relying on a small group of die-hard loyalists and attacking those who dare to cross it, including Vice President Mike Pence, said four sources familiar with the matter.
Some longtime advisors avoid speaking to Trump after sacking hundreds of supporters who inundated the U.S. Capitol in an inheritance deeply rooted in Trump’s Republicans.
Wednesday’s unprecedented breach of the Capitol Building forced Pence and members of Congress to evacuate, just as they had gathered to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over Trump. Four people died in the chaos, including a woman who was shot by police.
“I don’t want to,” said an adviser on condition of anonymity when asked if there had been any recent contact with the president.
Trump has repeatedly berated Pence, publicly and privately, for refusing to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s victory, and berated Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, for declaring that Pence was doing his constitutional duty, it said Swell.
This week Trump cursed Pence in the face, a source said. The Vice President’s Office declined to comment.
But Republican Senator Jim Inhofe told Tulsa World that he spoke to Pence Wednesday night.
“I’ve always known Mike Pence,” he said. “I’ve never seen Pence angry like I am today.”
A former senior administration official said the gap between the two men was deep and they could never speak to each other again.
A former Indiana governor and former Republican lawmaker who has ambitions for the president, Pence was loyal to Trump during the president’s four-year tenure.
One pence adviser said “everyone around him is very proud of him” for how he performed his constitutional duty and that he told Trump beforehand what he was up to.
“Mike Pence doesn’t surprise the president. He was honest about what he was going to do,” said the adviser.
LOYALISTS ‘EGGS ON’
Trump has surrounded himself with an ever smaller group of loyalists who suit his whims, including digital director Dan Scavino, personal advisor John McEntee, trade advisor Peter Navarro, speechwriter Stephen Miller, and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
“It’s sad. It’s the people around him who encourage him,” said the source, who also asked not to be identified.
The White House declined to comment.
A source familiar with the matter said it took intervention from Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump to convince him to change his mind the day after the president told supporters who raided the Capitol, “Go home, we love you, you are very special. ” “”
Trump had initially hesitated to criticize his supporters at all, the source said, but under pressure he released a new video Thursday night criticizing those who tainted the Capitol and calling for calm. He also got closer than ever to a formal concession, pledging to ensure a “smooth transition” to a new administration on January 20.
“Serving as your president has been the honor of my life,” he said on the video.
The previous Thursday, it was Scavino who, after Congress confirmed Biden’s victory, tweeted a statement from Trump saying the president would make an orderly transfer of power to Biden. Trump himself was suspended from Twitter at the time and could not send the tweet himself.
In that statement, Trump upheld the notion that the November 3 elections were against him but admitted that he would leave the White House on the day Biden was inaugurated.
“Even if I disagree with the election result at all and the facts confirm me, there will still be an orderly transition on January 20th,” he said.
The statement was viewed by some White House members as an attempt to forestall a wave of resignations.
A former Trump White House official said the president showed a failure of leadership by not immediately going on television to tell his supporters at the Capitol to resign and leave.
“He has had blood on his hands since yesterday. A woman has died,” he said.
There has been some talk among cabinet members like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and allies about invoking the 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump from office, but a source familiar with those efforts doubted it would given the shortage of time would happen to leave in his tenure.
Some White House officials, baffled by Trump’s downward spiral for the past few days, debated whether to step down in protest or stay for the last two weeks to ensure a proper transition to the Biden team, an aide said.
US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, the wife of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, became the first member of the Trump cabinet to step down from office since the Capitol siege on Thursday. Education Minister Betsy DeVos followed her.
Former Trump advisor Sam Nunberg said Trump’s temper reflected his reluctance to lose.
“That’s what he is in the end if he loses something. That’s how it is in the end,” said Nunberg.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)