“This is like a plot straight out of the later, sucky seasons of House of Cards"

Advisers have expressed concern and anger over Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, whose actions have been perceived as an effort to secure employment with Trump in his post-presidency, perhaps at the Trump Organization. “Jared has been telling people, ‘Don’t even deal with him anymore,’” one adviser said. “Mark’s responsible for bringing kook after crazy after conniver after Rudy into the West Wing.” (“This is completely false,” Avi Berkowitz, Jared Kushner’s spokesman, said in a tweet responding to this article, “Jared has never said that.”) A former senior White House official said, “Morale plummeted under him, huge mistakes were made — and now he’s scrambling to stick around after. He’s a dishonest asshole who pretends to be this religious Southern gentleman. Fuck that.”

The senior administration official put it this way: “The only way it gets to this point are a thousand really bad small decisions. The first time Sidney Powell calls the White House switchboard and is allowed to speak to the president, the next thing you know she and others are in the West Wing — these are areas where the chief of staff has unilateral authority to do what he wants to do.” Instead, the official said, Meadows tells Trump what he wants to hear, and often calls whomever Trump has directed him to call, repeats what Trump told him to say, and then apologizes, explaining that he just needs to be able to tell the boss that he followed his orders…

One person close to Trump’s legal team told me that the lawyers have struggled to get his attention. “He’s sort of turning on everybody. The president is so visceral, he just can’t hear people unless he can respect them. And he thinks everybody’s a traitor, even the people who got him through impeachment. It’s just nuts.”