The Manafort trial is reportedly spinning Trump 'into a frenzy,' worrying his aides

Trump at a rally
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump's increasingly frenetic tweets are apparently an accurate reflection of his mental state. "The start of Paul Manafort's federal trial this week has triggered Trump's hottest blast yet, and has renewed the possibility that Trump will fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein," possibly within a few weeks, Gabriel Sherman reports at Vanity Fair. Trump is "increasingly taking his legal defense into his own hands — very much at his own peril," annoyed with lawyer Rudy Giuliani for saying too much and White House Counsel Don McGahn for rebuffing his effort to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, among other things, Sherman says, elaborating:

Whether it's confidence, bluster, or delusion, Trump is venting to advisers both inside and outside the White House that the Manafort trial proves Mueller has nothing on him and his family, because Manafort's trial doesn't involve Russia or the 2016 campaign. "The Manafort trial is spinning him into a frenzy," one Republican in frequent contact with the president told me. Another Republican told me Trump thinks "the only thing the trial shows is that Manafort is a sleaze." [Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair]

Among those concerned that "Trump is careening toward disaster with few guardrails" is White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Sherman reports. That's why Kelly agreed to stay on until 2020 and be "the last bulwark against insanity in that White House," a prominent Republican close to the White House told Vanity Fair, but Trump is apparently surprised that Kelly relayed their conversation about his future employment to the media, and considered his assurance that Kelly's job was safe an offhand comment. "Trump is like, 'Whatever, we'll deal with Kelly after the midterms,'" one source told Sherman. You can read more at Vanity Fair.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.