As special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and federal investigation into campaign finance violations pick up speed, President Donald Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill are increasingly aware that his presidency is not likely to end well, according to The Los Angeles Times.
For the third day in a row, the president had been in the White House residence all morning, fuming about federal investigations that have moved closer to him — and are likely to get worse.
His former confidant, attorney Michael Cohen, and other once-stalwart supporters have flipped, becoming witnesses for a Justice Department he has struggled to bend to his will. Prosecutors also secured the cooperation of American Media Inc., the tabloid publisher that routinely helped Trump muzzle bad stories and target his enemies.
These developments are not lost on Republican lawmakers and political operatives, who are growing more convinced that Trump will not come out on top:
Several others close to the president, granted anonymity to speak openly about conversations with him, said Trump already senses diminishing respect and worries about losing support from powerful financial donors and Republican lawmakers as his legal and political troubles worsen.
"They're still not saying it publicly, but most Republicans on the Hill understand ... that it's not going to end well, that it's going to be bad," said a longtime Republican operative close to party leadership.
The president’s ghostwriter for his book, “The Art of the Deal,” Tony Schwartz, told the Times that Trump is simply unaccustomed to facing consequences for his actions.
"He got away with so much, for so long, that he came to believe he was untouchable and invincible,” Schwartz said.
He said Trump followed the tactics he learned from his late mentor, the hard-knuckled New York lawyer Roy Cohn — “Lie about everything, attack back twice as hard as you’ve been hit, keep at it relentlessly until people finally give up and [they] stop arguing with your fabricated reality.”
"Trump is still living in that reality, but the world isn’t going along with him anymore,” he added.
Those who aren’t willing to go along with him include a growing number of Republicans.
Some of Trump’s Republican allies have begun to publicly admit concerns about whether Trump violated the law in the hush money scheme — even if he’s unlikely to face prosecution while in office.
"Am I concerned that the president might be involved in a crime? Of course," Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told reporters, although he also expressed doubt about whether the violation amounts to a crime.