The presidents week aimed on a high in front of cheering firearm proprietors but only after Rudy Giuliani had torn up his bosss Stormy Daniels defence

The end of Donald Trump's week was shaping up nicely, on paper. On Friday afternoon, he was to speak to a group of America's most ardent gun enthusiasts, a crowd sure to shower him with the kind of mass adulation he observes so gratifying that, 16 months into his presidency, he has never stopped holding campaign rallies stocked with true believers.

But Trump's speaking engagement, at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, was in Dallas, and “hes to” get there first.

That entailed passing two phalanxes of reporters- one at his helicopter, one at the foot of the steps leading to Air Force One. They were exploding with questions about the whiplash turns of the past week in two of the biggest narratives of his presidency, the Robert Mueller investigation and the Stormy Daniels affair.

Early in the week, a paraphrased list of 49 questions had been leaked to the press that Mueller, the special attorney investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, reportedly wanted to ask the president.

The topics focused on whether Trump had obstructed justice by firing the former FBI director James Comey and other acts, and what Trump knew about his campaign's contacts with Russians.

The unwritten question was whether Trump would ever agree to such an interview- and, if he did not, whether Mueller would to try to force-out him through subpoena.

Then Trump's most freshly recruited lawyer, the former New York City mayor and unashamed Trump cheerleader Rudy Giuliani, went on Tv and delivered a bombshell. He said that fund are applied to seal a 2016 hush agreement with the porn actor Stormy Daniels had come from Trump, who had earlier flatly denied, on camera, any knowledge of the $130,000.

Confronted on the tarmac at Andrews air force base about the Daniels payment, Trump grew aggressive.

” This country right now is running so smooth, and to be bringing up that kind of crap, and to be bringing up witch-hunts all the time, that's all you want to talk about ,” Trump said.

But wasn't he the one who had an alleged extramarital affair with a porn actor, then secretly moved money to pay her not to talk about it right before the election, then said he had no knowledge of the pay, then this week tweeted that non-disclosure agreements” are very common among celebrities and people of wealth “?

” We're not changing any stories ,” Trump said.

Rudy
Rudy Giuliani was defended, kind of, by Donald Trump:' He started yesterday. He'll get his facts straight-out. He's a great guy.' Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/ EPA

With the tangled vines encircling Trump's White House growing ever thicker, the president's path to emerge from the scandals around him becomes increasingly overshadow with each passing day. At the same hour, the tools at Trump's disposal to free himself might not be as effective as they once were.

Not so long ago, the hiring of Giuliani, a former US attorney and street fighter who runs so far back with Trump that he once garmented in drag and pretended to be molested by him, might have enhanced Trump's power to take his occurrence to the American populace.

Instead, on day one, Giuliani, 73, appeared to be having trouble get up to speed on the foregoing months of lawsuits and contradictory statements that the president's camp has issued about the Stormy Daniels affair.

The former mayor immediately stepped in it, letting slip that Trump had paid his personal lawyer Michael Cohen $ 35,000 a month in part to fulfils the payment made to Daniels.

That gave the lie to a Trump statement aboard Air Force One on 5 April, when reporters asked him whether he knew where Cohen got the money to pay Daniels.

” No, I don't know ,” Trump said.

On Friday, Trump blamed Giuliani's newness in his role as he tried to clear up embarrassment about the pay-” It's actually very simple ,” Trump told, without explaining how.

” Rudy is a great guy, but he merely started a day ago ,” adding:” He started yesterday. He'll get his facts straight. He's a great guy .”

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Trump on Giuliani: ‘He'll get his facts straight' on Stormy Daniels- video

” It's a question of misunderstanding ,” Giuliani chimed in in a separate interview, which concluded with a denial that he had lost his place in the president's affections:” He says he loves me .”

Those who would speak for Trump must be willing to ride the narrative tiger, and sometimes to be bitten. Even Sarah Sanders, the counter-attacking White House press secretary, adopted a defensive huddle when she was pressed on Thursday to explain contradictions in the changing White House account of the Stormy Daniels case.

” Again, I gave you the best information that I had ,” Sanders told, over and over again.

While the fighting among Trump's surrogates remained on the same page has a slapstick quality, the seriousness of the allegations that Mueller is weighing against Trump lends an air of misfortune to the White House comedy of errors.

And downright ominous are the partisan attacks on the rule of statute that the president constantly deploys in its endeavour to free himself from his problems.

” You have all these investigators; they're Democrat ,” Trump told of the special counsel's squad, some of whom have attained campaign donations in the past to Democrat.” In all fairness, Bob Mueller worked for Obama for eight years .”

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Donald Trump among friends at the NRA meeting in Dallas. Photograph: Sue Ogrocki/ AP

That is not true; Mueller, a lifelong Republican and decorated Vietnam veteran with a reputation as a straight-shooter, expended 12 years as FBI director, overlapping for 4.5 years with Barack Obama and 7.5 years with George W Bush, who appointed him.

Comfortable, clearly, in his contradictions, Trump said on Friday that he really wanted to sit for an interview with Mueller to help sort everything out, but his lawyers were advising against it.

” I would love to speak ,” Trump told.” I would love to. Nobody wants to speak more than me- in fact, against my lawyers'- because most lawyers, they never speak on anything.

” I would love to speak, because we've done nothing incorrect. There was no collusion with the Russians. There was nothing. There was no blockage .”

In the convention hall at the NRA meeting in Dallas, Trump got the roaring reaction he had come looking for, as he delivered red-meat lines about freedom and protecting firearm rights. But then he lapsed into reflections on his favorite topic: himself.

The president boasted about how Kanye West supports him, and claimed his popularity had “doubled” among African Americans as a result.

” Kanye West must have some power ,” Trump said, and the sea of firearm owners cheered.