“He sees the writing on the wall,” said one former White House official, who requested anonymity to discuss the president. The former official said criticism from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh showed how Trump’s once impregnable GOP base was cracking…

But Trump’s tweet indicating that he had directed the GSA to start the transition — something Murphy, the agency’s administrator, adamantly denied — suggests that he knows the jig is up.

“It’s always been up, and it means that he is coming to the realization that it’s up,” said Elaine Kamarck, a government expert at the Brookings Institution think tank who served in the Clinton administration…

“They continue to treat this guy like a 4-year-old with a gun,” Kamarck said of Trump. “They’re terrified of him, and they indulge all his whims.”