Inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the mood was darker still.
“This is on him,” meaning Trump, a top Republican close to the White House said, after speaking with dejected advisers inside the West Wing.
Even before news of the Comey memos broke, the West Wing was wallowing in despondency, amid talk of staff shakeups and as shock still percolated following reports that Trump divulged top secret intelligence to two top Russian visitors to the Oval Office last week — a development that focused unflattering attention on the President’s basic competence.
Reports seeped out of the White House that Trump is incandescent with the performance of his staff and is mulling a huge overhaul of the top officials who surround him.
Another day of crisis at the White House further distracted top officials as they prepare Trump for his crucial first overseas trip, which is now all but certain to be overshadowed by the Comey memos, but begins on Friday when the President leaves for Saudi Arabia.
Top staff, including Pence, left the White House to attend a fundraiser for the America First Policies PAC at a Washington steak house, Del Frisco’s.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, chief of staff Reince Priebus, Trump’s director of legislative affairs Marc Short and Energy Secretary Rick Perry are also in attendance, a source told CNN.