According to sources, Trump has been furious at former economic adviser Gary Cohn and staff secretary Rob Porter for their apparent cooperation with Woodward’s book. “Trump thinks he took Gary in and gave him a job when he was going nowhere at Goldman,” a Trump adviser told me. According to the adviser, Trump let it be known to Cohn and Porter that he would attack them publicly if they didn’t disavow the book. (On Tuesday, they both did.) “The president has had it,” a former West Wing official said. “When books like this come out, he tends to shut down and calls up people he sees on TV saying good things about him.”
But Trump’s anger over Woodward’s book is dwarfed by his continuing fixation on the anonymous New York Times op-ed. Sources told me Trump is “obsessed,” “lathered,” and “freaked out” that the leaker is still in his midst. His son Don Jr. has told people he’s worried Trump isn’t sleeping because of it, a source said. Meetings have been derailed by Trump’s suspicion. “If you look at him the wrong way, he’ll spend the next hour thinking you wrote it,” a Republican close to the White House said. Much of what’s fueling Trump’s paranoia is that he has no clear way to identify the author. One adviser said Trump has instructed aides to call the anonymous author a “coward” in public to shame him or her. “He’s going to continue to shame this person,” a person close to Trump said. “The author will break under pressure or will eventually say, ‘fuck it, it’s me.’” Plans to administer polygraph tests to staff have seemingly died. “Nobody knows who it is,” a former official said.
Besides family, one of the only people Trump continues to trust is Stephen Miller. “The op-ed has validated Miller’s view, which was also Steve Bannon’s, that there’s an ‘administrative state’ out to get Trump,” a Republican close to the White House said. “There is a coup, and it’s not slow-rolling or concealed,” Bannon told me. “Trump believes there’s a coup,” a person familiar with his thinking said. Trump’s relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, which was already strained, has become almost nonexistent, a former official said.
In @MajorCBS's book "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride" (out next week), Ty Cobb says Stephen Miller is a key figure in Comey firing.— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) September 13, 2018
Cobb says Mueller has "all the handwriting" — lots of back and forth notes between Trump and Miller. pic.twitter.com/5fhGI6ODQl