Thursday, June 13, 2019


ABC's George Stephanopoulos spent a couple of days this week with Donald Trump. During a limousine ride, Stephanopoulos asked Trump about recent bad polling -- one poll showing Joe Biden beating Trump in Texas, as well as internal polls that reportedly show Trump losing to Biden in fifteen of seventeen swing states. Trump, of course, denied everything:
"I don't believe those polls. There's no way [former Vice President Joe Biden] beats me in Texas," Trump told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday during an exclusive interview. "No, my polls show that I'm winning everywhere." ...

"Nobody showed you those polls because those polls don't exist, George. Those polls don't exist. I'm losing in 15 out of 17 states? Those polls don't exist," Trump said. "I just was given a meeting with my pollster who I frankly don't even believe in pollsters if you want to know the truth, you just run a campaign and whatever it is, it is, but I just had a meeting with somebody that's a pollster and I'm winning everywhere, so I don't know what you're talking about."
But Trump couldn't drop the subject:

STEPHANOPOULOS (voiceover): But the president wanted to know more, so a few seconds later, he asked to go off the record to call his campaign manager.

TRUMP (to an unseen aide in the front seat): Call Brad [Parscale] on the phone, and I want to ask him that question, okay?
Trump can't let anything go if he thinks it reflects badly on him. Stephanopoulos saw him the next morning and he was still talking about this.
TRUMP: On Good Morning America today they had that phony polling information. I explained to you last night that it was phony, but you didn't do anything about it. You should have, but it was late in the evening and perhaps you didn't get a chance--

STEPHANOPOULOS: I didn't see the piece this morning. I listened to-- I've studied those polls, I've heard the explanations--

TRUMP: Ultimately, it doesn't matter.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But why does it bother you so much?
You'll love Trump's answer:
TRUMP: Because it's untrue. I like the truth. You know, I'm actually a very honest guy.
And Trump still can't let this go. He tweeted this an hour or so ago -- Rachel Maddow and others predicting he couldn't win in 2016, followed by a roll call of states he won:

Yes, Donald, many of us said you'd lose, and you didn't. So now, using a sample set of 1, you conclude that it's impossible for you ever to lose again.

We know from The New York Times that Trump "told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win." We know that Brad Parscale said on Twitter that the public was reading about "selectively leaked information," adding that "the picture being painted is intentionally false, because the information only pertains to a subset of questions asked.”

And we know that the campaign sent spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany to the Fox Business Network to spin all this. She said:
Well, first, let me start by saying that no one on the campaign has been instructed to lie about anything. So that's first.
No, really, I'm not a liar. It's always reassuring to hear that from a person sent out to spin a bad story.

McEnany then said that the polling we're seeing isn't realistic:
... our internal polling shows that when President Trump is against a defined Democrat, meaning once we have defined our opponent, he wins the election.
But the Quinnipiac poll showing Biden beating Trump in Texas has a defined opponent -- Joe Biden. So does the Quinnipiac national poll showing Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Cory Booker all beating Trump.

Trump is desperate to banish this story from the public consciousness (although his obsession with it is generating a Streisand effect). If Democrats did trash talk, this would be an ideal time to call Trump a big fat loser, just to see if his head would explode.

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