Outside the administration, a growing number of allies have given up on Trump. Rather than trying to persuade him to do the right thing, they are simply hoping he does no further damage before his term expires Jan. 20.

“This is everything that everyone’s been blocking for four years, the role of buffering Trump,” said one of the president’s advisers. “It’s horrible. People are miserable. They can’t wait for the two weeks to be over. Everyone’s taking one day at a time trying to get him through the next two weeks without massive problems.”…

One administration official described Trump’s behavior as that of “a total monster.” Another said the situation was “insane” and “beyond the pale.”

“He is alone. He is mad King George,” said a Republican in frequent touch with the White House. “Trump believes that he has these people so intimidated they wouldn’t dare mess with him. I think Trump doesn’t understand how precarious his situation is right now.”