Dem senator: Trump 'seems more rattled than usual'

Democratic Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system Hillicon Valley: Uber vows to defy California labor bill | Facebook, Google, Twitter to testify on mass shootings | Facebook's Libra to pursue Swiss payments license MORE (Ohio) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE "seems more rattled than usual," suggesting the president was bothered by his former longtime attorney Michael Cohen being sentenced to three years in prison.
 
"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 SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill 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 CoonsDemocratic senator: Attacks on Saudi oil refineries 'may call for military action against Iran' Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation 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 GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico Bolton exit provokes questions about Trump shift on Iran The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation 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 MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal 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