Dem senator: Trump 'seems more rattled than usual'

 
"I would maybe suggest that [Cohen’s] sentencing and the president's temper tantrum yesterday were related – I think that he is, the president feels more and more surrounded when his personal lawyer goes to prison,” Brown told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
 
Brown added that Trump “seems more rattled than usual and he seems even more unpredictable than usual,” citing the president's contentious Oval Office meeting with Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump knocks testimony from 'Never Trumpers' at Louisiana rally Jordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' USMCA deal close, but not 'imminent,' Democrats say MORE (Calif.) the previous day. 

“To say to two legislative leaders, 'Hey basically I'm proud to shut the government down," is just something President [George H.W.] Bush ... never would've done that ... shutting the government down is not a play-thing,” Brown said. 

Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators introduce bipartisan bill restricting police use of facial recognition tech Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Bill Gates visits Capitol to discuss climate change with new Senate caucus MORE (D-Del.) on Wednesday also called Cohen’s sentencing a “striking development” and a "moment for reflection for some of my Republican colleagues who have steadfastly insisted there is nothing to worry about.” 

GOP Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (S.C.) conceded that “anytime a former lawyer of yours goes to jail is probably not a good day.” 

Graham, however, noted that Cohen’s guilty plea and subsequent sentencing had nothing to do with Russian collusion – the matter currently being investigated by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE – but instead focused on hush-money schemes to quash two women's stories about their alleged affairs with Trump before the election.

"I have yet to see any evidence coming from Mr. Cohen of collusion and that's what started the Mueller investigation to begin with – unless there's something new and that could be," Graham told reporters. 
 
"He didn’t plead guilty [to] anything related to doing something wrong with the president in the Russia context."

While Cohen's sentencing in New York did not involve allegations of Russian collusion, his case was initially referred to prosecutors in New York by Mueller's team.
 
Coons, a former prosecutor, argued Wednesday that the latest developments involving Cohen underscore the need to take up legislation protecting Mueller.
 
“President Trump has repeatedly, almost daily criticized the Mueller investigation as being a fraud,  a witch hunt that has no substance to it ... it does not speak directly to collusion, that's correct, but it should give all of us pause about what may be next and it makes it more important than ever that Muller's investigation be protected,” Coons said.

— Molly Hooper