“In the wake of yet another Russia-related bombshell, Trump aides” are in despair “because they know President Trump only has himself to blame.”
Donald Trump and his senior staffers were headed across the Atlantic when news broke that the president had trash-talked former FBI Director James Comey in a meeting with Russian government officials — a meeting in which Trump reportedly promised the Kremlin more flexibility in their relationship with “crazy” Comey out of the picture.
“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump told Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, according to an official written account of the meeting first reported by The New York Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” Trump promised.
The White House confirmed that Trump made the remarks in a Friday afternoon statement, but insisted that the president was simply attempting to elicit concessions from the Russians. The administration officials and West Wing aides who were left grounded stateside on Friday late afternoon couldn’t do much more than dodge questions and vent inflamed frustrations at their boss. (Senior staffers who escaped aboard Air Force One included Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks, press secretary Sean Spicer, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.)
“I’m glad I’m not on the plane so I could be here to answer your Russia questions,” a senior Trump administration official said, sarcastically, before abruptly hanging up.
Trump’s remarks quickly elicited groans, and some harsh words, from senior officials who did speak with The Daily Beast.
“If Donald Trump gets impeached, he will have one person to blame: Donald Trump,” one of those administration officials said.