Friday afternoon’s Rod Rosenstein bombshell brought with it a familiar anxiety inside the Trump administration, as aides waited to see just how volcanic the president’s reaction would be to the latest story about backstabbing within his top ranks.
Current and former administration officials said they fully expected President Trump to dismiss staff inside the Justice Department following reports that Rosenstein had contemplated — sarcastically, his defenders say — the idea of wiretapping the president or removing him from office via the 25th Amendment. Less clear was how many people will get the ax and when, exactly, it will fall.
“Trump is gonna go on a jihad,” one former senior White House official told The Daily Beast. The official speculated that Rosenstein’s comments were leaked with just that reaction in mind. “The NYT op-ed gave an opportunity to really drive home the deep state stuff. With this new story, it gives additional credibility.”