Trump's new morning ritual involves a 'venting session' to his legal team about Russia

President Donald Trump has begun phoning members of his legal team most mornings around 6:30 a.m. to vent and strategize about the Russia investigation, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing three senior White House officials.

Officials said the discussions usually involve an overview of recent headlines and a plan to combat the “fake news” media, as well as brainstorming ways to handle Justice Department officials and the special counsel leading the probe into whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russians to influence the 2016 election.

The calls typically devolve from strategy consultations into rants, however, and do little to lighten Trump’s mood before he arrives at the Oval Office to begin the day’s work, the officials said.

Trump’s advisers initially encouraged the daily phone calls as a way to help Trump compartmentalise, but the Post reported that one White House official could only laugh when asked whether the calls have been effective.

Indeed, Trump frequently sends out streams of angry tweets early in the mornings, including several on Thursday lambasting the Democratic National Committee’s handling of hacks during the 2016 election.

But Trump advisers such as Kellyanne Conway say Trump has been tending to “business as usual,” despite media reports suggesting otherwise.

“As his detractors suffer from this never-ending ‘Russia concussion,'” Conway told the Post. “Conjecture about the mood and momentum of the West Wing is inaccurate and overwrought. The pace is breakneck, the trajectory upward.”

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