The Washington Post and Politico have similar stories Tuesday about President Trump, specifically on how aides scramble and strategize to keep his temper in check and limit potentially damaging outbursts. The Post account, based on interviews with 18 people inside and outside the White House, suggests the task has been especially difficult of late and includes a quote already drawing attention. A "Trump confidant" compared the president to a whistling teapot that had the potential to turn into a pressure cooker and explode. “I think we are in pressure cooker territory,” said the source. The story takes into account Trump's most recent Twitter tirade against GOP Sen. Bob Corker, who responded with an attack of his own that Trump aides fear might endanger the president's agenda in Congress, particularly on tax reform.
Politico, meanwhile, interviews 10 people and focuses more on the strategies that aides use. Former chief of staff Reince Priebus, for example, would often successfully defuse trouble by responding, "next week" when an angry Trump would order somebody be fired or otherwise want to act impulsively. The story notes that longtime Trump ally Chris Ruddy deliberately floated the idea in June that Trump was considering firing Robert Mueller, setting off a torrent of criticism about the possibility. The story suggests he did so because Trump was indeed privately considering the move. For Ruddy, it was "a calculated attempt to pre-empt what he feared could be a politically fatal move by the president," writes Josh Dawsey. The strategy plays off an observation made by Corker, that the president only hears criticism if he reads it in the paper and hears it on TV. Click for the Washington Post story, or Politico's.