Politico goes behind the scene to sample the feelings of those who walk with Donald Trump everyday…
In public, Trumpworld is casting the Democratic impeachment inquiry as more white noise.
In private, White House aides and allies say the impeachment momentum now presents a serious threat to the rest of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda, to his negotiating strength with world leaders and to his concentration.
The political furor over the president’s call with the Ukrainian president will contrast the two pictures for at least the coming weeks, testing how well the seemingly Teflon-encased president can withstand the revelation that he tried to pressure a foreign leader to dig up dirt on the son of a Democratic rival, Joe Biden, heading into the 2020 campaign.
House Democrats’ decision to launch an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday afternoon raises the stakes of this massive White House gamble, even as the president called any impeachment proceedings “just a continuation of the witch hunt.”
Few in the White House or the wider Trump orbit have privately defended Trump’s call with the Ukraine leader in which he reportedly asked eight times about investigating the Biden clan’s business dealings in the country. The incident violates the principle that U.S. officials should never allow or encourage foreign governments to interfere in U.S. elections.
Trump advisers and senior administration aides pivoted any discussion of the president’s call and ensuing whistleblower complaint to focus on the Bidens — in an effort to turn the attention to a rival much the way the Trump campaign undercut Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in 2016 by constantly bringing the discussion back to her campaign’s stolen emails.
“The president’s strategy on these matters has always been pretty clear: Never back up and go forward. He learned that from Page Six,” said Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to Trump who served as House speaker during Republicans’ impeachment inquiry of President Bill Clinton. “For the average American, this won’t move anything. It just further pins the Democrats into a negative anti-Trump position….
I couldn’t find an updated image of Tump’s staff…
All the images have people that are gone from the job…