Donald Trump erupted at his top political advisers when they presented him with polling data that showed Democrat Joe Biden beating him in a number of crucial states, according to reports.
Polls in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all put the president behind his Democrat opponent ahead of the November 3 election.
At the same time, Trump’s approval ratings have slumped since the coronavirus pandemic began – dropping six percentage points to 43 per cent, according to Gallup polling.
On Friday, Trump was said to have flipped at his campaign manager Brad Parscale over polling data, as well as lashing out at other staff who have tried to convince him that his public performances are bringing his numbers down.
One anonymous Republican source told CNN that Trump was “p***ed because he knows he messed up in those briefings”.
President Trump on Friday had to defend his comments on disinfectant injections as a possible coronavirus cure, made during Thursday’s daily news briefing, ahead of his call with Parscale.
“I am not f***ing losing to Joe Biden,” Trump allegedly told Parscale on the phone on Friday after a series of heated conference calls with his campaign team and advisors.
Parscale and other staffers presented Trump with internal Republican polling last Wednesday that showed him losing to Biden in several swing states – a diagnosis that he has publicly insisted he does not believe. He reportedly threatened to sue Parscale while several aides were listening.
After CNN reported on the pair’s encounter on Wednesday night, Trump denounced the claims on Twitter, and wrote: “Just told that Fake News CNN is falsely reporting that I was recently shouting at my campaign manager over made up nonsense,”
He added: “Actually, he is doing a great job, I never shouted at him... and have no intention of doing so.”
On Wednesday, the president told Reuters that he does not “believe the polls.”
“I believe the people of this country are smart. And I don’t think that they will put a man in who’s incompetent,” said Trump, in an reference to Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The president’s polling crisis comes at a critical point in the coronavirus pandemic, with new figures showing the outbreak in the US has now created more than a million cases and claimed more deaths than the total American fatalities in the Vietnam War.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies