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Trump's "corner man" role with his cable TV defenders

Carolyn Kaster / AP

After this week's Russia revelations, the mood in the West Wing is increasingly grim and paranoid. But President Trump seems to relish being embattled: One friend describes him as "acting like a corner man in a boxing match."

  • This is especially evident in Trump's constant patter about TV, as he praises aides for their combative appearances. He periodically asks about surrogates who have scored points on cable: "Why isn't she my press secretary?"
  • In calls and Oval Office chats with supporters who have been on the tube, Trump gleefully reenacts exchanges with anchors blow by blow, referring to CNN as "Fraud News" even in private conversation.
  • Regardless of what he or his staff say, he hate-watches "Morning Joe" — toggling among MSNBC, "Fox & Friends" and CNN's "New Day".