Trump defiant, doubting top advisers as White House in turmoil, sources say

WASHINGTON -- President Trump was defiant Wednesday while speaking at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's graduation ceremony.

"No politician in history -- and I say this with great surety -- has been treated worse or more unfairly," he said. "You can't let them get you down."

Mr. Trump rallied the Coast Guard cadets by recounting his own approach to adversity.

"You will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted but you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight," he said.

Sources say the president's own frustration is at a high point. He is doubting his top advisers, even son-in-law Jared Kushner, who supported firing FBI Director James Comey despite the ongoing Russia investigation.

The White House is also trying to contain fallout from Mr. Trump's decision to share classified intelligence with top Russian diplomats.

On Wednesday in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the scandal as "political schizophrenia." Putin even said he would share transcripts of the president's comments with the U.S. Congress, if the White House approved.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he was unaware of any Russian recording of the meeting, and said the public should rely on the accounts given by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

"What the president shared was wholly appropriate," McMaster said on Tuesday of Mr. Trump's Oval Office discussions.

Mr. Trump said Wednesday he is trying to ignore the media firestorm.

"I didn't get elected to serve the Washington media or special interests. I got elected to serve the forgotten men and women of our country, and that's what I'm doing," he said.

A senior White House official told CBS News the administration's efforts to broker a deal with Russia over Syria have not advanced as planned, in large part because of what they see as bogus media reports about the president's alleged ties to Moscow.

  • Margaret Brennan

    Principally assigned to the State Department, Margaret Brennan also serves as a CBS News general assignment correspondent based in Washington, D.C.