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Story highlights

Trump returned from his nine-day trip and immediately began tweeting about the press

Trump is under pressure to stabilize a White House that was spiraling further out of control by the hour

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump’s global statesman act lasted all of 12 hours back in the United States.

Hours after getting home from a trip to Europe and the Middle East, the President unleashed a Twitter blast that felt like a pent-up release of fury that had been simmering over the nine days of his debut foreign tour.

Facing a political situation that further deteriorated in his absence, with questions now swirling over his son-in-law and indispensable aide Jared Kushner, Trump is under pressure to stabilize a White House that was spiraling further out of control by the hour when he flew overseas.

With a special counsel probing, Russia questions now reaching into his tightest family inner circle and West Wing staff turmoil deepening, there ware expectations that the administration would change strategy to quell the crisis. Already Trump has hired a lawyer, and a “war room” to help insulate the rest of the presidency from the Russia saga is on its way.

But the President is defiant.

“It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” Trump tweeted in an early morning salvo that accused reporters of falsifying the controversy over claims that his campaign aides colluded with Russians’ election hacking effort.

The President also slammed reporters who include the phrase “sources say” in their stories.

The volley of tweets represented Trump at his most authentic and defiant, lashing out when he feels he is under attack, and appeared to reflect a belief that only he, and not his staff, is qualified to speak in his own defense.

It was a side of the President that had not been much in evidence in his swing through Europe and the Middle East.

While the Russia controversy deepened back home, Trump had remained unusually disciplined – even if his performance at NATO in Brussels deeply alarmed European leaders who already doubted his commitment to the alliance.

In some ways, he proved doubters wrong on his swing through Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium and Italy, advancing his goals, delivering on a pre-planned strategy and avoiding self-harming controversies.

03:14 - Source: CNN
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