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 SchumerProtecting our judiciary must be a priority in the 116th Congress Baldwin's Trump plays 'Deal or No Deal' with shutdown on 'Saturday Night Live' Sunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal MORE (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Fox’s Wallace to Pence: Is government shutdown all about ‘leverage?' Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security 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 CoonsOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO Sunday shows preview: Washington heads into multi-day shutdown 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 GrahamExperts warn of persistent ISIS threat after suicide bombing Graham: Trump should meet Pakistan's leader to reset relations State of American politics is all power games and partisanship 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 Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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