Everyone is paranoid at the White House

White House.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Trump White House is buried deep in a snowdrift of paranoia, Politico reports, following the news that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. While President Trump himself has reportedly been convinced by his lawyer that Mueller will finish his investigation and declare the president innocent by January, his staff is not so easily reassured.

"Everyone is paranoid," an unnamed "person close to Trump's White House" told Politico. "Everyone thinks they're being recorded" by unknown traitors in their midst, colleagues who have secretly flipped and donned a wire for the Mueller team. The fear is not unfounded, as included in Mueller's plea deal with Flynn was a note that Flynn might be "participating in covert law enforcement activities" as part of the arrangement, ample base for speculation that other Trump staff, desiring to ensure their own immunity, could do the same.

Lawyers for White House staff have encouraged their clients to strictly avoid talking about the Russia investigation to anyone but their own legal counsel. "They're probably s--tting bricks," one of the attorneys mused to Politico about administration staff. "How can you not?"

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.