As I sat a few feet from President Trump while he ripped special counsel Robert Mueller and warned Democrats he is preparing a devastating counterpunch, the phrase “The Gathering Storm” came to mind. That’s the title of Volume I of Winston Churchill’s masterful history of World War II.
It also describes the president’s mood and the vicious game of blood sport playing out in Washington. While our nation’s political battles are hardly as dramatic as the fight with Nazi Germany and Japan, a storm is gathering in America and 2019 is shaping up as an extremely turbulent year.
Trump is under siege and girding for a political, legal and public-relations war. Though the conflict began the day he took office, the last two years have been skirmishes compared to the climactic battles ahead.
That view was strengthened by the Oval Office interview last week where I, along with Post reporters Nikki Schwab and Marisa Schultz, spent nearly 40 minutes with the president and several aides.
Trump, sitting behind the grand Resolute Desk, made from the timbers of a 19th-century British sailing ship, was genial and gracious. No questions were taboo, and he was in a sunny mood.
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