- President Donald Trump threatened to sue his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, over a slew of damaging poll numbers, CNN and The Washington Post reported.
- Trump erupted at Parscale during a phone conversation Friday evening, saying, “I’m not f—ing losing to Joe Biden,” five sources told the AP.
- Two days earlier, Parscale and other top advisers reportedly showed the president internal polling data that showed him losing to Biden in critical battleground states and urged him to scale back his coronavirus briefings.
- Trump initially refused but later relented after making headlines by suggesting injections of disinfectant could treat the coronavirus.
- “He’s pissed because he knows he messed up in those briefings,” a Republican close to the White House told CNN. The Post cited another official as saying Trump was “in a terrible mood with everyone late last week.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump threatened to sue his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, over a slew of decreasing poll numbers, CNN reported Wednesday.
Trump’s outburst came on Friday evening, one day after he suggested Americans may receive injections of household disinfectants to treat the novel coronavirus. According to CNN and the Associated Press. Trump fumed at Parscale over the phone during a huddle with advisers Friday, berating Parscale for his damaging poll numbers.
“I’m not f—ing losing to Joe Biden,” Trump said, cursing at Parscale throughout the call, according to five sources who talked to the Associated Press. The Washington Post reported something similar, citing people familiar with the conversations.
After the call, Parscale described it to others as a Trump venting session, these people said.
It’s unclear how serious the president, who has a history of filing flimsy lawsuits, was being. And sources told CNN that Trump and Parscale cleared things up later that day.
Two days before Trump excoriated his campaign manager, Parscale and other advisers filled Trump in on internal polling data from his campaign and the Republican National Committee that showed the president losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in key battleground states, CNN reported.
CNN reported that the data showed Trump’s daily coronavirus press briefings were hurting his reelection prospects, and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel subsequently urged the president to scale them back.
But Trump said restricted travel, not the briefings, had negatively affected his chances. The Post reported that Trump was steadfast in resisting calls to scale back the briefings, saying people “love” them and think he is “fighting for them.”
The next day, the president made headlines when he floated disinfectants and UV light as possible treatments for the coronavirus.
By Friday, the message appeared to have sunk in more because he refused to take questions at that day’s coronavirus briefing. And on Saturday, the White House skipped the briefing altogether.
One Republican close to the White House suggested the president has become aware of the effect his comments have had, telling CNN, “He’s pissed because he knows he messed up in those briefings.”
Trump also ranted to aides for several days last week about a New York Times story that said he watches seven hours of cable news every morning before getting to the Oval Office at noon and spends most of his day calling people on the phone, according to The Post.
The Post cited one official as saying Trump was “in a terrible mood with everyone late last week.”
Trump’s anger spilled over onto his Twitter feed over the weekend, when he bitterly attacked journalists from The Times and other outlets for their coronavirus coverage and reports about the Russia investigation.
He later deleted the tweets, in which he called upon the “Noble Committee” to revoke the “Noble Prizes” given to journalists and complained about reports of him “angrily eating a hamberger & Diet Coke.”
Trump mused about when reporters would “be turning back their cherished ‘Nobles’ so that they can be given to the REAL REPORTERS & JOURNALISTS who got it right.”
“When will the Noble Committee DEMAND the Prizes back, especially since they were gotten under fraud? The reporters and Lamestream Media knew the truth all along,” Trump wrote. “Lawsuits should be brought against all, including the Fake News Organizations, to rectify this terrible injustice. For all of the great lawyers out there, do we have any takers? When will the Noble Committee Act? Better be fast!”
(There is no such thing as a Noble Prize or Noble Committee. And no Nobel Committee awards a prize for journalism.)
Trump deleted that Twitter thread as well, though he later said he had not misspelled “Nobel” and was just being sarcastic.
Got a tip? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.