President Donald Trump is privately telling allies that he’s sure that he will soon receive a “letter” from special counsel Bob Mueller exonerating him in the Russia probe, CNN reports.
Allies are worried that Trump is not taking the threat the investigation poses to his presidency seriously enough in the wake of disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s sweetheart deal to cooperate with investigators.
CNN reports that even as Trump allies continue to float the rumor that the president will fire Mueller, “Trump has privately seemed less frustrated about the investigation.”
But while Trump and his legal team seem under the impression that the investigation will wrap up soon, CNN notes that there has been no indication that the probe is nearing its final stages.
“A tipping point in the showdown could come as soon as this week when Trump’s private lawyers and Mueller meet,” CNN reports. “Trump’s team is hoping to get a clearer sense of Mueller’s next steps in the investigation, an assessment that could either pacify Trump or inflame him.”
In the meantime, Trump is “boasting” to friends and advisers that he expected to be fully and publicly exonerated by Mueller within a matter of weeks.
According to the report, Trump is “so convinced” of his looming exoneration he is privately telling allies that Mueller “will soon write a letter clearing him that Trump can brandish to Washington and the world in a bid to finally emerge from the cloud of suspicion that has loomed over the first chapter of his presidency.”
The report notes that the president is so “convinced of his innocence” that advisers are worried he will “explode” if the investigation “doesn’t end as neatly as Trump expects.”
Trump has reportedly called the Russia investigation “bullsh*t” and insists to those close to him, “I don’t know any Russians!”
“The President’s mantra is ‘All this Russia stuff, it’s all going to wrap up soon.’ He repeats it as fact,” one source told CNN. “Part of me is like — ‘Are you serious? You believe this?'”
Aides worry that Trump’s imaginary deadline for an exoneration will come and go, possibly leaving Trump “frustrated and more prone to rash behavior than ever before.”
Some aides believe that Trump may even fire Mueller if the investigation continues beyond his expectations.
Trump’s allies have reportedly warned the president that firing Mueller would be a “fatal blow” to his presidency.
One source told CNN that Trump would have a “meltdown” if Mueller doesn’t publicly exonerate him, which the report notes would be “unusual.”
“He’ll try and fire Mueller and then be impeached,” the source told CNN.
Another longtime Trump friend told CNN that he is worried the President’s legal team have “lulled him into a false sense of security.”
“I’ve known him long enough to know that disappointing him is a problem and they’ve built up a level of expectations for him that are unrealistic,” the Trump friend said.
Experts believe that the Mueller investigation is only starting to ramp up and noted Flynn’s sweetheart deal is a sign that prosecutors are “chasing an even bigger fish.”