Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, April 29, 2020:
President Trump's advisers presented him with the results of internal polling last week that showed him falling behind former vice president Joe Biden in key swing states in the presidential race, part of an effort by aides to curtail Trump's freewheeling daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, according to three people with knowledge of the conversations. ...If Trump doesn't believe bad polling numbers, why would he get upset at them? After all, they are fake, right? He obviously knows the shitty polls are legit. That's why he was throwing fits and yelling at everyone. The anti-Times rant lasted "several days"! (But seriously, isn't it common knowledge he watches Fox and makes phone calls all day?)
One call on Wednesday — with Parscale patched in from his home in Florida and McDaniel from hers in Michigan — was designed to present grim polling data to the president to encourage him to reduce the frequency of coronavirus briefings or to stop taking questions, after seeing his numbers slip for several weeks, officials said.
Trump resisted the pleas, saying people "love" the briefings and think he is "fighting for them," a person with knowledge of the Wednesday conversation said. Trump has long been distrustful of polling data presented to him when the numbers are negative, aides say. ...
His political team has grown more concerned in recent weeks, as the briefings became more combative while the economy cratered and coronavirus deaths continued to rise.
On Thursday, Trump set off a new uproar with his suggestion that injecting bleach or other disinfectants could help kill the novel virus — prompting a scramble by the administration to contain the damage. ...
Aides described Trump as in a particularly foul mood last week because of the polling data and news coverage of his administration's response to the pandemic ...
Trump told Parscale that he did not believe the polling that had been presented to him, even though it came from the campaign and the RNC.
"I'm not losing to Joe Biden," Trump said at one point, both of these people said, adding that the president used profanities throughout the call. ...
Trump ranted to other aides for several days about a story in the New York Times that described him as spending much of his day watching television and calling people on the phone.
He was also angry about coronavirus testing — telling advisers that he was unfairly getting crushed in the media over shortages in the United States. ...
"He was just in a terrible mood with everyone late last week," a fourth official said.
Parscale came to the Oval Office on Tuesday ... He brought polling numbers that were more positive for Trump, and the president seemed in a far better mood, people with knowledge of the meeting said.
I guarantee those later more positive polling numbers were fictional, put in front of him solely to get him out of his sour mood, like waving a shining toy to quiet a crying infant.
Jeremy Diamond, CNN, April 29, 2020:
As he huddled with advisers on Friday evening, President Donald Trump was still fuming over his sliding poll numbers and the onslaught of criticism he was facing for suggesting a day earlier that ingesting disinfectant might prove effective against coronavirus.Digby comments:
Within moments, the President was shouting — not at the aides in the room, but into the phone — at his campaign manager Brad Parscale, three people familiar with the matter told CNN. Shifting the blame away from himself, Trump berated Parscale for a recent spate of damaging poll numbers, even at one point threatening to sue Parscale. ...
Faced with an increasingly uphill battle for reelection and aides trying to steer him in new, sometimes conflicting directions, Trump has grown increasingly unnerved in the last week about his reelection prospects. ...
"He's pissed because he knows he messed up in those briefings," one Republican close to the White House said of Trump lashing out.
Last Wednesday, two days before Trump lashed out at Parscale, his campaign manager and several other top political advisers briefed him on internal campaign and Republican National Committee data showing the President was heading for defeat in key battleground states. Parscale, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and other advisers urged him to scale back his daily, combative news conferences and pointed to data showing that the briefings were hurting him with critical swing voters in those states.
Trump has complained to aides that his restricted travel has hurt his numbers, not the briefings.
One person familiar with the call said the message didn't appear to sink in with the President, who instead changed the subject away from the issue of briefings.
I think it's interesting that he really, truly believes that his rallies are key to his re-election. The truth is that his rallies only make him feel good about himself.Trump's rallies do absolutely nothing for his chances at re-election. At this point, is there any voter in the country still on the fence about this clown? He's addicted (literately) to the ego-boost of the cheers and chants. But beyond that, they are worthless. The rallies are a textbook definition of preaching to the choir - or, more accurately, "babbling incoherently to the choir".
A former White House official told Gabe Sherman at Vanity Fair that "Jared [Kushner] is running everything. He's the de facto president of the United States."