In January 1998, when the news of an investigation into Mr. Clinton's relationship with Ms. Levinski first broke up, the White House was blinded and had to build an operational and swift response from scratch. Mr Trump, by contrast, has spent nearly two years fighting the special counsel's investigation and has lived with the threat of impeachment looming over him from the first days of his administration.
But so far there is little in terms of structure and nothing in terms of discipline stemming from the president.
"It is very, very difficult, not because the White House lawyer is incapable of doing so, but because Trump is forcing people to come out of their lane and protect him," Mr. Podesta said. "This is the wrong strategy. The only way to survive is to focus on trying to act as if you are still the President of the United States. "
"You know what we used to do in the old days when we were clever with spies and betrayal, right? "Mr Trump said in a stunned group of United States Mission members to the United Nations on Thursday and their family members." We used a little differently than that.
So far, the White House plans to allow Mr. Trump to held his own show. He hopes the president's ability to use the Internet to spread the message means that Mr Trump will not need the same type of structure that helped the White House respond to a slow impeachment investigation in the 1990s. And with sympathetic hosts of Fox News as well as conservative news outlets like Breitbart stepping up attacks on Democrats and support for Mr Trump, today the White House has what is essentially an independent rapid reaction team that doesn't even have to lead or the bank.
n. Mulvaney briefly paid for the idea of attracting Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager for Mr. Trump who is considering running for the Senate in his home state of New Hampshire to help run some of the White House anti-impeachment announcements outside, according to two people familiar with the incident. But others close to Mr Trump said Mr Lewandowski's firing as a witness before the House Judiciary Committee could recently complicate this type of role and the idea was quickly reversed.