As scenes of carnage unfolded on the television in his private dining room off the Oval Office, President Trump was raging.
Surrounded by a handful of loyal consiglieres, he watched as the rioters stormed the US Capitol – astonishing images that shocked the world and would signal the brutal denouement of his four-year presidency.
Yet it was not the mayhem and violence that caused Trump to roar in fury – not the dead bodies, including a Capitol police officer who died from a massive brain bleed after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.
Far from it. As a White House source told The Mail on Sunday last night, Trump was ‘apoplectic’ in embarrassment because the ‘white trash’ mob on screen made him look bad.
‘He was angry, not at the appalling crimes they were committing, but because he felt embarrassed,’ said the source. ‘When they first stormed the Capitol he was enjoying it. These were “his people”.
US President Donald Trump was raging in the White House during the siege of the capital building- but not because of the scenes of destruction or the dead bodies. He was upset because his supporters were ‘making him look bad’
‘But when he saw pictures of the half-naked guy in the fur hat he started complaining they looked “cheap and poor”.
‘Even at one of the worst moments in American history he was thinking about his image. He didn’t grasp the scale of the disaster.’
With ten days to go until the end of his presidency, The Mail on Sunday can today reveal what the aide described as ‘the final hours of a deranged president in his bunker’.
Fuelled by hamburgers and endless cans of Coca-Cola, Trump ignored calls from his closest political advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence, who begged him to make a televised address and call off the mob.
‘He was shouting: “Why should I? These people are my supporters”.’
In desperation, aides sought out First Lady Melania Trump, one of the few people whose advice the president still heeds.
Yet, almost incredibly she was in the East Wing of the White House overseeing a photoshoot for a new coffee table book about presidential artefacts.
‘The heart of US government was under siege, our very democracy on the line, but Mrs Trump was calmly arranging porcelain figurines for the photographer,’ the source continued, saying even the most loyal remaining Trump staffers were left ‘dumbfounded’ by her actions.
As the mob attacked the Capitol Building Trump was asked to call them off, but his aide says he answered: ‘Why should I? These people are my supporters’
The President said his supporters, such as the man in the fur hat, looked ‘cheap and poor’
Indeed, the First Lady’s closest adviser, her chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, tendered her resignation later that day.
Melania was even asked to intercede, to force her husband to publicly decry the insurgency, but she refused.
‘She said nothing. She remained silent and carried on arranging a vase for the shoot. She checked out of this presidency and her marriage a long time ago.’
Since losing the November 3 election – a loss he still refuses to accept even though he has now pledged to oversee a peaceful handover to President Joe Biden on January 20 – Trump has become ‘increasingly deranged and detached from reality’, according to the former adviser.
Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol took place shortly after Trump gave a speech whipping-up an already inflamed crowd, and marked just how far the president has descended into what the aide called ‘his own personal hell’.
‘He’s delusional. The group around him that remain are sycophants who tell him what he wants to hear. He truly believes the election was stolen from him even though there is not a shred of evidence for that.
‘It’s like the president is living in a parallel universe. Everyone knows he lost, that there was no voter fraud, yet in his mind the White House has been stolen from him and the rioters this week are loyal patriots defending him against those who are trying to steal the presidency from him.’
As Wednesday’s events unfolded, Trump’s inner circle shrank even further.
In the end only his chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, personnel director Johnny McEntee, lawyer Rudy Giuliani and policy adviser Stephen Miller remained in the room.
First Lady Melania Trump was asked to intercede and convince her husband to call off the mob, but she continued with her photoshoot arranging porcelain figurines
Supermodel Karlie Kloss (pictured), Ivanka Trump’s sister-in law, turned on her in-laws calling them ‘anti-American’
‘Everyone else who had pleaded with him to publicly denounce what was going on had left. Melania wouldn’t do a thing.
‘In the end we had to beg Ivanka to go in there. Everyone left the room while she spoke to her father.’
‘First Daughter’ Ivanka was the one who finally persuaded Trump to record a brief video, released on his Twitter feed – an account which has since been permanently suspended.
Trump repeated his accusations of election fraud but told his supporters to ‘remain calm and go home’ adding: ‘We love you.’
‘It was too little, too late,’ commented the source. ‘By then the damage to America in the eyes of the world had been done.
‘There was a sense of total despair among people who have devoted their lives for the past four years to try to do good under this presidency.
‘In a few hours on Wednesday afternoon, everything we worked for was trashed.’
It is not just Trump whose reputation lies in tatters this weekend. Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner have become ‘social pariahs’. A former friend told Vanity Fair magazine: ‘How do you associate yourself with the worst, most toxic people in history?’ Ivanka called the mob ‘American patriots’ in a tweet about Wednesday’s insurrection, a post she rapidly removed.
Supermodel Karlie Kloss, married to Jared’s brother Joshua, turned on her in-laws calling them ‘anti-American’.
When a Twitter follower asked Kloss to try to reason with her family members she replied simply: ‘I’ve tried.’ Long-time Kushner friend Bob Sommer sent Ivanka a text saying: ‘I am horrified I attended your wedding.’
Ivanka’s former friend added: ‘Ivanka and the whole family will be socially ostracised.
‘Before this week people still associated with them because of their power and influence but now everyone has joined the resistance.’
Removal vans were seen outside Ivanka’s Washington DC home on Friday. It is thought she is moving her family back to their New York home.
So what now for Trump?
It is said he is planning to flee to his lavish Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida the day before the inauguration from where he will mastermind a bid for re-election in 2024.
Supporters have already pledged more than $200 million to return him to the White House. That is if he doesn’t end up in jail first. The aide explained: ‘Even if he pardons himself, that only covers him for federal crimes. As soon as he leaves office the state of New York is coming after him for tax evasion.
‘And he could face prosecution in state court in Washington DC for inciting the mob to violence. His legal woes have only just begun.’
And Melania? It has been widely reported that she negotiated a post-nuptial agreement agreeing to stay with Trump, but only during his presidency.
Many believe she will file for divorce after January 20.
With impeachment proceedings against him set to start tomorrow, Trump intends to spend this coming week ‘trying to reclaim his legacy and image’.
The Mail on Sunday has been told he is making a video this weekend highlighting his administration’s accomplishments and he plans to head to Texas next week to give a speech standing in front of a stretch of border wall with Mexico that was built under his watch.
‘At this point he’s checked out of reality,’ the source said.
‘He is now doubting whether he should have said he would accept a peaceful transition of power because that has angered his base who feel betrayed.
‘He’s now worrying about how history will judge him and wants to start rehabilitating his image while he still has the power of the presidency.
‘You have to remember more than 70 million Americans voted for him. He still has a huge fan base.
‘Of all the problems Joe Biden faces, domestic terrorism is up there at number one. People are mad as hell and they have guns. America’s troubles are far from over once Trump leaves office.
‘In fact, they are just beginning.’