Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump and close allies have maintained prominent conservatives that the president believes are ready to throw him under the bus in case he loses his election amount again.
Two individuals who spoke to Trump said the president expressed suspicion that members of his own party believed he would be defeated by Joe Biden. That feeling of paranoia is being fed by the servants and trusted by the president, who has flagged recent news coverage for him by Republican politicians who are openly criticizing his behavior or trying to distance themselves from a possible bloodshed in the election. According to one source with direct knowledge, the president is already thinking of a reward.
“[The president] said something to the effect of: if you turn your back on him now, do not bother to come back for a favor when he wins, ”the other source said. “He made a comment about how there are some people out there that you can only expect when things are going your way.”;
Some of the coverage bookmarked for Trump includes recent stories about Senate President Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who not only broke with the president on the issue of the stimulus law associated with the coronavirus but made a point of saying that he had not been to the White House in weeks because of its cavalier approach to the pandemic.
Trump’s disputes with Republican senators extend there. Last week, the president attacked Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Twitter for “bad gossip” that she will oppose Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. He said of the endangered incumbent: “The work is not worth it!” – a slight sigh of relief to Trump strategists, who noted that it was extremely unnecessary. Trump already has enough votes for Barrett’s confirmation.
Moreover, there is a strong suspicion within Trump’s inner sanctuary that the office of Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has leaked the contents of a call he made to constituencies where he punished the president for accepting dictators and not condemning conspirators. Trump’s anger over the call boiled on Saturday with another attack on Twitter.
There was also a bit of an eye-opener for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who issued two recent statements punishing what he described as the corrosive steps taken by national politics. Notable in those statements is condemnation for Trump and a critique for Biden.
“You don’t want to see it, but getting to Capitol Hill, a great way to get attention is to speak out against your own party,” said the former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who for many years served as an official Trump successor. “Ben Sasse is a smart guy and I apologize he decided it was time to bolt, [but] I don’t know how it helps the swing-state [Republicans] either… But you still don’t see ideological people ruining. If Ralph Reed said, ‘OK I’m not here,’ it would be different. ”
But those who indicate they are ready to jump aboard include some key players in conservative politics. One of the president’s most powerful and influential trusts, billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, tells his comrades 19 crises.
Sources familiar with the situation said Trump and Murdoch had not spoken for several weeks. A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the story, but Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement: “President Trump won in 2016 without vocal support of political insider and he will do it again. The President enjoys the support of more than 90 percent of Republicans, and our rally data shows that nearly a quarter of those who registered at the rally were not registered as Republicans. “
Knives are not just for suspected Republican turncoats. Within the vast universe of GOP operatives working to re-elect the president, remorse has already begun for the state of the campaign. An old Republican official who consulted with the campaign said that while staff are still confident the president can win, they are even more alarmed at – what the official described – the “extreme incompetence in whether how things are spent. “
“I think there is a fact where this is happening in a campaign. This is the point where people are starting to find out who is wrong,” the official said. Asked who would be wrong, the source added: “There is no question [former campaign manager] Brad [Parscale] will take a large part of it because it is easy. But anyone with a brain that looks at it will point to Jared [Kushner]. Jared cannot be both brainless and innocent. “
Within the wider GOP circles, a bit of cold realism has been captured about Trump’s prospects. Few, if any, are pollyannaish. The optimism that remains is tied to two racial features: that the president faced a similar skepticism (including from within his own party) four years ago and still wins; and that, around this, Trump’s campaign has invested more in the number of voters than he did in 2016.
“He does not win but there is always a feeling that he is in this position , that this will be tightened, and we have a ground game that will give us the top, “said a GOP official involved in the re-election effort.
But even that official took on the limits of rotation. “A ground game is a field goal in a close game,” the official said. “It’s not three touchdowns.”
Among Republican operatives, there is an expectation that Trump’s vis-a-vis Biden voting deficit will close in the near future. But the restriction did not happen as quickly as they had hoped, and the explanations for this included the burning performance of the president’s debate, his COVID infection, and the fact that he had become a foreigner in the waves of wind.
There is also a growing consensus in the GOP consulting class that Trump has lost some of the political inclinations that made him both toneless and ineffective in his 2016 run. In the past, Trump shut down the campaign by following more scripts, doing rallies, and just posting standard tweets. This outing, he accepted wild conspiracies – such as the Osama bin Laden raid staged – and placed more Facebook ads attacking Hillary Clinton than following Biden in the trade.
“I guess it’s hard when you’re in the White House, but it’s different than in 2016,” the GOP official said. “It simply came to our notice then. It is completely off the rail all the time. ”