WASHINGTON – Anxiety and uncertainty.
Those are familiar feelings for aides to Donald Trump, a president who seems to relish combat and controversy and whose inner circle has been increasingly rocked by revelations stemming from federal investigations.
This week, White House staff members experienced a new level of turbulence after a guilty verdict was announced for Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, while in a separate case, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
In interviews with a half-dozen Trump aides and people close to the White House, many described rising concerns about federal inquiries underway, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“I think people are genuinely shaken,” said one official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. “They’re still trying to digest it – process it.”