By email, by tweet and on camera, the denials paraded in Thursday from Cabinet-level officials- apparently crafted for an audience of one, seated in the Oval Office.
The denials and condemnations came in from far and wide: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis denied authorship on a visit to India; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke chimed in from American Samoa.
In Washington, the claims of “not me” echoed from Vice-President Pence’s office, from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, from Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman from Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, and other cabinet members.
Asked if he still trusts his White House aides, Mr Trump said: “I do, but what I do now is I look around the room. I say, ‘Hey, if I don’t know somebody. . .’ ”
He added: “We have a really well-run, smooth-running White House. It’s a well-oiled machine. It is running beautifully.”
As he called for an official investigation, Mr Trump also offered his own rebuttal to the claims within the piece, telling reporters: “I’m highly educated and always did well, always did well, no matter what I did… I was great at business. Then I tried politics and I started off as president. Guess what happened? I won.”