Trump fears his jilted ex-advisers will come back to haunt him

But privately there is a healthy degree of consternation within the ranks. A source close to Trump says that he becomes noticeably “terrified” and irate whenever he hears of a negative book on him about to drop, whether authored by a former associate or an established journalist. The president often obsesses over the media coverage of these published works, and directs his lieutenants to wage war on the writers and the credibility of the work itself…

Those who have worked with Trump say he understands the dangers of having so many disgruntled ex-employees—including former corporate titans and revered military figures—speaking out during the re-election. And yet, they also recognize that the president is largely unwilling, or incapable, of doing the main thing to prevent such a situation from happening: not humiliate members of his team before (or in some cases after) their banishment…

But a large part of the strategy for dealing with the enemies-formerly-from-within is to simply bank on the capacity to convince the public that their criticisms don’t actually matter. The campaign is expected to emphasize a message that the president has achieved what he set out to do. And both they and even their detractors recognize that, for a good chunk of voters, it doesn’t matter what the critics say, even if those critics are informed by their front-row experience.