NBC News is reporting that if not for Mike Pence's intervention, Dan Coats, Trump's Director of National Intelligence, would have quit the administration.
Coats has been a subject of ridicule from the main Trump propagandist on the Fox Business Network, Lou Dobbs, who was livid that the DNI had the audacity to contradict Trump's lying to the American people.
As he does all his foes, Trump had given Coats a nickname. Coats' was "Mister Rogers."
Coats found it particularly hard to hide his exasperation with Trump's insistence in the weeks after taking office that Obama had wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign, according to the officials. Over and over again Trump raised the issue, and over and over Coats told him he wasn't wiretapped, officials said, but the president didn't want to hear it.
It was a recurring thing and began early on, a senior administration official who observed the exchanges said. "You could tell that Coats thought the president was crazy."
The tipping point for Coats was Trump's sudden declaration he was removing troops from Syria.
Coats had also angered Donald with his response to Andrea Mitchell, which irked him to no end.
Mitchell was interviewing Coats, and she had some breaking news: "The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall."
Coats smiled and said, "Say that again?" He breathed deeply and said, "Okay." And then the audience laughed.
Trump believed Coats had mocked him and was angry, say officials.
What a thin-skinned man/child.
Pence has talked Coats through his frustrations with Trump by "encouraging him to continue the work he's doing and reiterating that he has the support of the White House," according to one White House official. The vice president's message to Coats has been to "hold the line, and to keep doing the work he's doing," the official said.