Trump Is 'Losing His Mind' Because He's Stuck in Washington for Shutdown, Claims Former Staffer Omarosa

A former staffer to Donald Trump said the president was likely becoming more "isolated" and "irritable" as he remained holed up in the White House during the partial government shutdown.

During a panel discussion on the MSNBC show Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked Omarosa Manigault Newman about Trump's state of mind, as the president has "been cooped up in the White House for the last four weeks."

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Matthews mentioned an article in The New York Times that reported that Trump had "frittered away the hours by watching multiple flat-screen TVs…gazing out of secure windows, tweeting at his enemies and phoning his friends."

Matthews asked Manigault Newman, author of the book Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House, about the president's possible state of mind.

"He sits there and he gets more and more irritable and the more irritable he gets, the more erratic he gets. And the more isolated he gets," she said.

"He likes to call people to reinforce that he is right in a situation even when he sees the data that says he is wrong, particularly on the shutdown.

"He is watching coverage that is showing Americans disapprove of this, so he'll call people who will say 'you're fine, what you're doing is good, hold your ground.' He's losing his mind."

Manigault Newman appeared in the first season of the NBC reality TV series The Apprentice, which Trump hosted. Having worked as part of Trump's campaign team, in January 2017 she was appointed to a White House role as assistant to the president and director of communications for the office of public liaison. Manigault Newman resigned in December 2017 amid controversy, and has since become a strong critic of the president.

The panel also included NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson, who talked about the number of government workers who were struggling without paychecks during the shutdown. "It's unfortunate, it's unfair, it's selfish of the individual who calls himself president," Johnson said.

The Internal Revenue Service has recalled 46,000 of its employees back to work to handle tax returns and issue refunds, but they will work without pay as the shutdown continues. More than 3,000 Federal Aviaion Administration engineers and inspectors were also called back to work this week, without pay.

Trump is expected to sign legislation this week authorizing back pay for 800,000 federal workers who have been working without pay for as long as the shutdown lasts, ABC News reported.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman
Omarosa Manigault-Newman, director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, who resigned on January 20, 2018, over disagreements with Chief of Staff John Kelly. She said the president was likely becoming more “isolated” and “irritable” as he remained holed up in the White House during the partial government shutdown. REUTERS:Kevin Lamarque