Culture

Report: Trump Went ‘Ballistic’ On His Staff On Friday, Left Bannon And Priebus Behind In DC

Getty Image / Olivier Douliery-Pool

President Donald Trump isn’t projecting the demeanor of a happy camper these days. Granted, no one’s ever accused the man of being a bubbly adorkable cuddlebug (for a variety of reasons), but the commander-in-chief seems awfully cranky of late. New reports of Russian connections to Trump’s campaign and a whirlwind of Trump’s tweeted evidence-free accusations about an Obama wiretapping plot have a habit of giving off that sort of impression.

ABC News reports that Trump’s frustrations hit a notable boiling point on Friday. In the fallout over Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally recusing himself from investigations into alleged Trump-Russia ties, Trump was said to have gone “ballistic” before heading off to his self-fashioned “winter White House” in Florida. Summoning some of his senior staff into the Oval Office, Trump fumed over reports on his administration’s relationship with Russia.

Sources said the president felt Sessions’ recusal was unnecessary and only served to embolden Trump’s political opponents. The attorney general made his announcement Thursday just as Trump returned to Washington from a trip to the U.S.S. Gerald Ford in Virginia for a speech about his agenda as president.

ABC’s source noted that Trump’s son-in-law/senior adviser Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were in attendance during this reported rage session. As were chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, White House Counsel Don McGahn, press secretary Sean Spicer and Communications Director Mike Dubke. Described as an “animated exchange,” it apparently was a plan-altering one as well. Bannon and Priebus were expected to join Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

One source said both men volunteered to stay behind in Washington, with another source saying the president seemed to concur that they should. Sidelining key staffers with whom he was angry was an occasional Trump tactic during the campaign.

As President Trump was in the air aboard Marine One headed for Air Force One on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews, a last-minute phone call was made from the West Wing to the team on board the president’s plane with a directive to remove Priebus and Bannon from the manifest, sources said. They would not be coming to the Sunshine State.

What a report like this spells for the status of Trump’s administration (if anything) is anyone’s guess. Not only has Trump’s rise to power been unorthodox (to put it mildly), but volatility is woven into the Trump brand. Heck, the guy can shift from a strange unhinged blast about Obama being behind a new “Watergate” to giving out about his old TV game show in an hour’s time.

(Via ABC News)

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