By Kevin Bailey
The following account is culled from communications with one person who works inside Trump’s White House, whom I call “TP” (for “The Person”). It is not double- or triple-sourced, and thus should be taken as RumInt, and not regarded with the same sense of authenticity as a story from a deeply sourced article from the Washington Post or New York Times. With that said, here we go:
Late on the evening of May 10, there was a lot of panic among low- and mid-level White House staffers. They were deeply afraid of what the FBI would do after Trump not only fired Director James Comey, but deeply (and intentionally) embarrassed Comey in doing so. The fear was that the FBI was going to “rain down fire” because of the Comey firing, and that such “fire” might end up consuming even these low- and mid-level staff-types.
According to TP, there is a lot of anger at Trump among these lower levels of White House staffers, as they feel he poked the FBI hornet’s nest with the Comey firing, when there was no need to do so. There is now a “Lord of the Flies” mentality settling in at Trump’s White House, with many staffers planning exit strategies that will allow them to escape this mess unscathed.
In some cases, direct orders from senior staff are simply acknowledged, then ignored. After the first Comey memo was reported on, there were low- and mid-level staffers in the White House that just left without even telling superiors. Chaos is now the rule, not the exception at this point.
The feeling among these lower-level White House staffers is that Trump’s private security goon squad has done some “seriously bad shit”, including following staffers at all levels–in a futile attempt to find the leak(s)–and even trying to gather blackmail material on senior staff and (rumor has it) even Cabinet members.
The night the first Comey memo was reported, it became like a game of musical chairs, with no one wanting to be in Trump’s line of fire. He was, quite simply, rampaging and ranting almost incoherently. TP claims that no one knows now whether to pray to be fired or pray to NOT be fired. There is confusion and concern as to which is the better (and safer) option right now. Many of the low- & mid-level WH staffers come from relationships with GOP money men. Those staffers have basically been saying “Fuck this” since the night the first Comey Memo was reported.
Last night, after the Special Counsel was announced, there was an actual, physical fight in the White House. Tensions are high even with those further down the food chain in the White House. There’s basically no esprit de corps, with TP describing the atmosphere this way: “Think Lord of the Flies, but with ill-fitting suits and tacky ties.”
There is a real sense inside the White House now (across all levels) that it is all coming undone, and the staff at all levels blames one man: Trump. There is very little loyalty left for him at any level, and almost no chance of him regaining that loyalty. The last communication I had from TP was this:
“Trump’s fucked. I’m fucked. We’re all fucked. Hell, you’re even fucked, even though you may not know it yet.”
Oh, I know it all right. I (and many others) have known it since the night of November 8, 2016.