Trump's White House wracked with contention

From Comey's firing to the president's meeting with Russian officials, White House officials have been grappling with Trump's mixed messages.
6:39 | 05/18/17

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Transcript for Trump's White House wracked with contention
We return now to a white house in turmoil. Plagued by seemingly unending leaks. Tonight we hear from a long-time friend and adviser of president trump, the outspoken political operative Roger stone. On why he thinks the president is surrounded by disloyal staff. And what trump needs to do to save his reputation. Here's ABC's Tom llamas. I could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters. Punch him in the face, I tell you. We are going to make America great again. Reporter: He was called the chaos candidate. He'd an chaos president. Reporter: And now for many, those words may be ringing true. He campaigned as the outsider. Who could fix Washington. We are going to drain the swamp. Reporter: Critics and friends alike now saying it's his white house that needs fixing. Frankly, I'm concerned that the president has surrounded himself with people who have no loyalty to him. And of course it's obvious that they leak like a sieve. I'm surprised that people are surprised. Because Donald Trump has been rolling this way for the better part of 45 years. Reporter: The president's 118-day term has been racked with contention. Over the past week, one political bombshell after another has sent the white house into what some are describing as a tailspin. FBI director James Comey fired by president trump -- Reporting that president trump disclosed highly classified information to the Russians -- Did the president ask James Comey to "Let this go"? The department of justice reveals that they will appoint a special counsel. This is a white house that is trying to be business as usual. They've got that big foreign trip coming up. That is where they're concentrating today. Behind the scenes, this is a white house in panic mode. Reporter: The president even seems to be sending out key staffers with a message one day -- The deputy attorney general determined that the FBI director lost his confidence, he forwarded that recommendation to the attorney general, and the president agreed with it. Reporter: Only to undercut them the next day. Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation. I'm an agent provocateur. Reporter: Close friends like Roger stone whose relationship with the president is the premise of a new Netflix documentary -- Sure, the president has his own idiosyncratic leadership style. Just the fact that he's not whom money newsed Washington politician and conducting the presidency the way career politicians have, doesn't mean his form of leadership is not effective. Reporter: Some claim the media unless a frenzy saying the real story is the white house leaks to reporters. There's a weasel here. It's the traitor who disclosed these facts to "The Washington post." Reporter: Yet the contradictions within the administration continue. At first the white house denied that he shared classified Intel with Russia. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. Reporter: Then trump himself tweeting, I wanted to share with Russia. Saying he did so because, I wanted Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS. As I said for the third time, there is nothing further to add on that. That's frankly offensive. Reporter: The apparent mixed messages from the white house have put press secretary Sean spicer on the defensive. Buzzfeed showing reporters crowding his office Monday night. Demanding comment to a report the president allegedly compromised classified intelligence by sharing it with the Russians. And the night of the Comey firing, reports Sean spicer was standing near some hedges to avoid TV cameras. Inspiring this homemade lawn ornament. There are two things that make Donald Trump tick. One is self-aggrandizement. The other is self-preservation. The fact of the matter he's not a strategic thinker and never has been. I think the question about how long he stays in the game with this probe on his doorstep is how much he can actually think beyond mere self-preservation. Reporter: From the beginning of his run, there was both skepticism and enthusiasm surrounding his campaign. A real estate mogul and reality TV star. You're fired. Reporter: Trump didn't hold back on the trail. Little Marco. Lying Ted Cruz. Crooked Hillary Clinton. Reporter: Unpredictability still a staple in his approach to the oval office. On the trail firing two campaign managers. His ability to bounce back after headlines that would sink a storied political career earning him the nickname teflon don. Having someone go out into great big rallies and talk about how great it's going to be once he's there makes people feel good, gives people a sense of hope and optimism. The voters want that to be true. And so that is something that is very appealing on the trail and very difficult to translate into action. Reporter: But of late, it's the president's support system that is also taking hits. Kellyanne Conway a constant on cable news taking some time out of the spotlight, prompting this "Snl" skit. ??? Where in the world is kellyanne Conway ??? Reporter: President trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who many think of as a trump whisperer, keeping a low profile. John Oliver joking -- We did find an interview of him talking on TV in 2009. Here it is. My main business is real estate! I know what you're thinking. Hold on, you just took that clip and dubbed in Gilbert Godfrey. But you don't know that for sure. Frankly think to survive he's going to have to clean house and replace the people around him with people who are loyalists. Who understand him and understand his agenda. Sources of mine have told me that trump has said he needs to clean up the white house. But that's also profound denial. Donald Trump's problems right now are entirely self-created. Reporter: But in the midst of turmoil, there have been successes for the administration. Namely, a recent win in the house on health care reform. A supreme court pick pushed through. Rolling back obama-era leniency on sentencing. I've accomplished a as president. Reporter: But tonight as trump prepares to depart on his first foreign trip as president, many are hoping this so-called chaos president will find a calmer approach to diplomacy. One thing I can tell you about Donald Trump, he's very tough. And it's always a mistake to underestimate him. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm Tom llamas.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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