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Rage and turmoil: Trump's final days in office

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EDITORS NOTE: CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

Weeks before his supporters’ assault on the U.S. Capitol, President Donald Trump’s mood had been darkening as dozens of court cases failed to overturn voting results.

That’s according to multiple sources, who say Trump’s final days in the White House - a time which could have been used to tout accomplishments - have been full of rage and turmoil.

Trump’s Jan. 6 speech, in which he urged his supporters to fight for him, followed a tense conversation with the vice president. A source tells Reuters Trump called Mike Pence "a pussy" for not agreeing to overturn the electoral vote in Congress that day.

Then Trump, who had wanted to join thousands of hardcore followers on Capitol Hill, relented at the advice of Secret Service.

Sources say the president instead hunkered down at the White House to watch news coverage of the rioting with rapt attention.

Trump’s uneven response to the violence hours later left some of his aides stunned.

TRUMP: "We love you. You're very special."

Trump also watched some of the impeachment debate on TV, and - a source tells Reuters - grew angry at the Republican defections.

This comes after a sudden rupture with Pence, the resignation of disgusted seniors advisors, the loss of his cherished Twitter megaphone and as corporations rush to distance themselves from the Trump brand.

Reuters spoke to more than a dozen Trump administration officials who describe a shrinking circle of loyal aides who are struggling to contain an increasingly fretful, angry and isolated president – one seemingly still clinging to unfounded claims of election fraud.

The White House declined to comment on this inside account.

Pence reached out to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday, sources familiar with the situation said, marking the first contact at that level between the outgoing and incoming administrations.

Three White House sources told Reuters that even as Trump continues to vent, he has been focused on his pardon power.

The biggest question is whether he will issue an unprecedented pardon to family members and himself.

That would be an extraordinary use of power never before tried by a U.S. president, and constitutional lawyers say there is no definitive answer on whether it can be done lawfully.

Video Transcript

- Weeks before his supporters' assault on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump's mood has been darkening as dozens of court cases failed to overturn voting results. That's according to multiple sources who say Trump's final days in the White House, a time which could have been used to tout accomplishments, have been full of rage and turmoil. Trump's January 6 speech, where he urged his supporters to fight for him--

DONALD TRUMP: And we're going to have to fight much harder.

- --followed a tense conversation with the Vice President.

DONALD TRUMP: I just spoke to Mike.

- A source tells Reuters Trump called Mike Pence, quote, "a pussy" for not agreeing to overturn the electoral vote in Congress that day. Then Trump, who had wanted to join thousands of hardcore followers on Capitol Hill--

DONALD TRUMP: And I'll be there with you.

- --relented at the advice of Secret Service. Sources say the president instead hunkered down at the White House to watch news coverage of the rioting with rapt attention.

DONALD TRUMP: I know you're hurt.

- Trump's uneven response to the violence hours later left some of his aides stunned.

DONALD TRUMP: We love you. You're very special.

- Trump also watch some of the impeachment debate on TV and, a source tells Reuters, grew angry at the Republican defections.

- I will vote yes on these articles of impeachment.

- This coming after a sudden rupture with Pence, the resignation of disgusted senior advisors, the loss of his cherished Twitter megaphone, and as corporations rush to distance themselves from the Trump brand. Reuters spoke to more than a dozen Trump administration officials, who describe a shrinking circle of loyal aides who are struggling to contain an increasingly fretful, angry, and isolated president.

DONALD TRUMP: We will never concede.

- One seemingly still clinging to unfounded claims of election fraud. The White House declined to comment on this inside account. Pence reached out to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday, sources familiar with the situation said, marking the first contact at that level between the outgoing and incoming administrations.

Three White House sources told Reuters that even as Trump continues to vent, he has been focused on his pardon power. The biggest question is whether he will issue an unprecedented pardon to family members and himself. That would be an extraordinary use of power, never before tried by a US president. And constitutional lawyers say there is no definitive answer on whether it can be done lawfully.