This was a week when the mood in Trump’s campaign was improving, before the sudden release of revelations on his handling of Covid-19.
ITV showed how in Louisville, Kentucky, problems of law and order dominate the streets:. ‘America’s militias are feeling empowered and emboldened. Over the weekend, different groups collided in a chaotic display of non-state armed power. Strikingly, the police, the National Guard and civic leaders were nowhere to be seen for several hours. In other words, the competing militias had the run of a major American city.’
For us Brits… The PM ‘privately told US diplomats that Donald Trump was “making America great again” according to official notes taken during high level UK-US meetings’. When Foreign Secretary Johnson told the US Ambassador ‘Trump was doing “fantastic stuff” on China, Syria and North Korea’. In response to the story Trump tweeted ‘Thank you Boris, working great together’.
Biden has before called Boris a Trump “clone” and his foreign policy advisor responded to Brexit developments pointedly saying ‘Biden is committed to preserving stability in Northern Ireland. Any arrangements must prevent the return of a hard border’.
January 28th: Trump was told ‘This will be the biggest national security threat you face’ by his National Security Advisor. A few days later the President told Woodward “This is deadly stuff”. At that time, in the public Trump told the nation ‘it would soon disappear and was no worse than a seasonal flu’.
March 19th: ‘Trump admitted to Woodward he deliberately minimized the danger: “I wanted to always play it down”.
In response to Woodward saying Trump the two men shared white ‘privileged upbringings’: “You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you. Wow. No, I don’t feel that at all”.
On meeting Kim John Un, Kim wrote to President “another historic meeting, reminiscent of a fantasy film”. Trump was taken with Kim’s flattery, telling Woodward ‘pridefully that Kim had addressed him as “Excellency”. (Recorded Tapes of these conversations are here)
Is this any different from past scandals Trump has seemingly brushed off? Yes, as this time the President is the source – recorded and for all the public to see. Denial is not possible. It also undercuts Republican argument that Democrats are overexaggerating effects of virus, with Trump himself revealing he thinks it is deadly and that he deliberately understated its impact.
Trump campaign plans to ‘spend more money in Minnesota than in Wisconsin or Michigan during the final stretch of the 2020 race’, after seeing his standing slip there. ‘The aggressive play for Minnesota amounts to a potential lifeline for Trump’, with some local factors possibly benefiting him. How? He could lose Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Win Florida and NC, and Minnesota and become President. In 2016 he lost Minnesota by 1.5%.