Many GOP leaders and politicians have started to question whether President Donald Trump will serve out his entire term, conservative commentator David Brooks has said.
The right-leaning pundit, who is currently a columnist for The New York Times, pointed out that there is growing uncertainty among Republicans over Trump’s future during an interview with PBS News Hour . Brooks explained that politician’s from the president’s party have started to see his administration as losing “authority” and “failing.”
Appearing alongside liberal political commentator Mark Shields, Brooks said it seems like “a lot of Republicans are looking at this White House, and they’re seeing an administration under a lot of judicial and legal threat and a lot under political threat.”
“What they call the membrane around Trump is failing, and the membrane is the group of people they put around Trump to protect him from himself,” the columnist said. “And over the years, the Hope Hickses of the world, and maybe in the next few days the John Kellys of the world are going and gone, and so you see a Trump unprotected from himself.”
Hicks formerly served as the White House Director of Communications until she announced her resignation earlier. She revealed the decision after she told the House Intelligence Committee that she sometimes told “white lies” in her work for the Trump administration. The president’s Chief of Staff John Kelly, who had been credited with establishing some order in a chaotic White House, will leave his position at the end of the year.
Brooks suggested that Republican lawmakers no longer think that Trump is necessarily their candidate in 2020.
“You’re beginning to see a lot of Republicans who are looking seriously at 2019, with a lot of Fridays like this one, and Trump really hurting himself, and maybe not serving out the term,” he said.
A sentencing memo by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York revealed on Friday that Trump is alleged to have participated in federal crimes when he directed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to commit campaign finance violations by paying off two women during his 2016 campaign. The document, which references Trump as “Individual 1,” says that the president lead the criminal conspiracy to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDuggal to keep their alleged extramarital affairs with him a secret.
“There’s more fear, worry, almost mania in the White House,” Brooks said in his interview with News Hour . “They feel all the safety guard rails coming out,” he explained. “They really don’t know what’s going to happen.”