'This is not going to end well': Trump's friends and allies are worried he's spiraling out of control — and they say this time is different

  • President Donald Trump has become increasingly emotionally unstable in recent weeks, and his friends blame this on his obsession with TV coverage and defensiveness in the face of perceived attacks against him.
  • "The more pressure put on him and the more isolated he becomes, I think, his ability to do harm is going to increase," one person told the Washington Post.
  • Trump has felt hampered by the Russia investigation and the scandals surrounding his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
  • His recently unstable demeanor was reflected in freewheeling policy decisions and behaviors this week.

President Donald Trump's friends and confidantes are reportedly more worried about his emotional health than ever before.

As Trump becomes ever more focused on perceived attacks against him, constantly obsesses over TV coverage, and lashes out at friends and foes alike in public, many close to him say he is approaching "pure madness," according to the Washington Post.

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey did not mince his words about Trump's current mental state.

"I think the president is starting to wobble in his emotional stability and this is not going to end well," he told the Post. "Trump's judgment is fundamentally flawed, and the more pressure put on him and the more isolated he becomes, I think, his ability to do harm is going to increase."

But others say things will likely get worse before they get better.

"We haven't bottomed out," one official told the paper.

33 PHOTOS
Donald and Melania Trump through the years
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Donald and Melania Trump through the years
Real estate magnate Donald Trump (L) and his girlfriend Melania Knauss leave Hollinger International's annual meeting at the Metropolitan Club in New York on May 22, 2003. Hollinger publishes The Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London, the Jerusalem Post and other newspapers. REUTERS/Peter Morgan PM/ME
Donald Trump and his girlfriend Melania Knauss arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood, California, February 29, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller REUTERS EM/AS
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his friend Melania Knauss pose for photographers as they arrive at the New York premiere of Star Wars Episode I: "The Phantom Menace," May 16. JC/SV/AA
From left, Billy Crystal, host of the 76th annual Academy Awards, his wife Janice Goldfinger, Melania Knauss and her boyfriend Donald Trump, pose together as they leave the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood, California, early March 1, 2004. REUTERS/Ethan Miller EM
Developer Donald Trump (R) and his girlfriend Melania Knauss pose for photographers after the final show of "The Apprentice" April 15, 2004 in New York. Bill Rancic, a 32-year-old Internet entrepreneur from Chicago, edged out Kwame Jackson, a 29-year-old New Yorker and Harvard MBA, for the Trump-described "dream job of a lifetime" and its $250,000 salary. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen JC
Donald Trump's new bride, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, waves as they leave the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church after their wedding in Palm Beach, Florida, January 22, 2005. REUTERS/Gary I Rothstein
Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs (R) accepts an award from the Rush Philanthropic Foundation for his efforts to support public education and dedication to youth and social activism, from Donald Trump and his wife Melania (L) at Trump's Trumps Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida on March 11, 2005. REUTERS/Jason Arnold MS
Donald Trump and his wife Melania Kanauss watch the Miami Heat play the New York Knicks in the first quarter of their NBA game in New York's Madison Square Garden, March 15, 2005. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS
Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania arrive at the Museum of Modern Art for a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in New York November 1, 2005. The Royals are on the first day of an eight-day visit to the U.S. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Donald Trump arrives with wife Melania at a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, November 1, 2005. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania (R) arrive at the Museum of Modern Art for a reception in honor of Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in New York, November 1, 2005. The royals are on the first day of an eight-day visit to the U.S. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump and his wife Melania attend a Miami Heat against the Los Angeles Lakers NBA game on Christmas Day in Miami, Florida, December 25, 2005. REUTERS/Marc Serota
Donald Trump stands next to his wife Melania and their son Barron before he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles January 16, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello (UNITED STATES)
Real estate magnate and television personality Donald Trump and his wife Melania stand on the red carpet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of the exhibition "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" in New York May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT FASHION BUSINESS)
Businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump and his wife Melania watch Rafael Nadal of Spain play against Tommy Robredo during their men's quarter-final match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS ENTERTAINMENT REAL ESTATE BUSINESS)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (2nd from L) watches with his wife Melania as Serena Williams of the U.S. plays against her sister and compatriot Venus Williams in their quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania as he speaks at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as his wife Melania listens at a campaign rally on caucus day in Waterloo, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to an answer his wife Melania gives during an interview on NBC's 'Today' show in New York, U.S. April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Melania Trump gestures at her husband Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump as they leave the stage, after she concluded her remarks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Melania Trump appears on stage after U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets his wife Melania onstage after the conclusion of his first debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Joe Raedle/Pool
(L-R) Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump attend an official ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington U.S., October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump cuts the ribbon at his new Trump International hotel in Washington, DC, U.S., October 26 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania Trump at a campaign rally in Wilmington, North Carolina Florida, U.S. November 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Republican U.S. President-elect Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania take part in a Make America Great Again welcome concert in Washington, U.S. January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend the Liberty Ball in honor of his inauguration in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attend the 60th Annual Red Cross Gala at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet a marching band as they arrive at Trump International Golf club to watch the Super Bowl LI between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump hugs his wife Melania during a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump holds up H.R. 321 as his daughter Ivanka Trump (C) and U.S. first lady Melania Trump (2nd R) watch after it was signed in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC, U.S. February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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Unprecedented pressure

The Trump administration has been hampered by a quickening Russia investigation led both by the House Intelligence Committee and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is reportedly working his way "up the food chain" and may be eyeing Trump himself.

White House communications director Hope Hicks testified before the committee on Russian election interference on Tuesday, and then announced her resignation on Wednesday.

One of the president's closest confidantes who's been with him since the beginning, Hicks' departure will be a huge loss for Trump, who has fewer and fewer close, trusted allies in his White House.

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner also lost his "top secret" security clearance this week and gotten embroiled in several scandals simultaneously.

In short, it's been a tough week for Trump.

Chaos on the policy front

Trump has recently undertaken significant policy measures, like the planned tariffs announced this week on steel and aluminum, without consulting or reviewing them with his advisers.

A presidential ally who spoke with CNN said this week is "different" and that the president is spiraling.

"This has real economic impact," the source said, referring to the market's rejection of the tariffs. "Something is very wrong."

In the words of one official, Trump became "unglued" on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, he invited business leaders to the White House without allowing the Secret Service to check their backgrounds and screen them for entry, NBC reports.

On Wednesday, Trump had chided Republicans in a meeting for being "afraid of the NRA," and then invited members of the gun rights group to the White House the following night.

Trump also escalated his public feud with attorney general Jeff Sessions, attacking him on Twitter Wednesday. Then a photo leaked of Sessions dining with a top official and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation since Sessions recused himself.

The Post reported that Trump was "raging" about Sessions' disloyalty to friends the following morning.

Former Rep. Timothy Roemer said in many ways, Trump's dark demeanor of late is exactly what voters asked for.

"Many people voted for Trump in order to throw a hand grenade into national politics," the Indiana Democrat told The New York Times. "It seems he has done the same thing to Capitol Hill, and no one knows from a tweet to an exchange in an Oval Office meeting what's next."

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9 PHOTOS
President Donald Trump jokes about his hair during speech
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President Donald Trump jokes about his hair during speech
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump pretends to smooth his hair as he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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