President Donald Trump threatened to sue his campaign manager Brad Parscale last week, blaming Parscale for his recent slide in swing state polls, according to Wednesday and Thursday reports from The Washington Post and CNN. Trump was reportedly upset that his campaign’s internal polling data showed him trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in several states key to his re-election bid.
Trump, who is notoriously litigious, was surrounded by several advisors as he reportedly “berated” Parscale and threatened to file a lawsuit.
“Within moments, the President was shouting — not at the aides in the room, but into the phone — at his campaign manager Brad Parscale, three people familiar with the matter told CNN. Shifting the blame away from himself, Trump berated Parscale for a recent spate of damaging poll numbers, even at one point threatening to sue Parscale,” CNN reported, adding, “It’s not clear how serious the President’s threat of a lawsuit was.”
The Post similarly reported that Trump threatened Parscale, though at least one of the outlet’s sources said the remark was make “in jest.”
Both outlets also reported that advisors were showing Trump his declining numbers–a trend that has been consistent for several weeks–in order to convince him to scale back on his public press briefings, during which he has become increasingly untethered from facts and unrestrained.
According to the Post, prior to his call with Parscale, Trump was in a particularly foul mood over a surge in criticism he’d been receiving for comments made during the prior day’s press briefing during which he wondered aloud if the COVID-19 coronavirus could be killed in humans by injecting or ingesting disinfectants.
“He’s pissed because he knows he messed up in those briefings,” a Republican, supposedly with close ties to the White House told CNN about Trump’s recent outbursts.
In typical fashion, the president on Thursday rebutted reports that he threatened or even shouted at Parscale
“Just told that Fake News @CNN is falsely reporting that I was recently shouting at my campaign manager over made up nonsense. Actually, he is doing a great job, I never shouted at him (been with me for years, including the 2016 win), & have no intention to do so. Just FAKE NEWS!,” he tweeted just after midnight on Thursday.
Just told that Fake News @CNN is falsely reporting that I was recently shouting at my campaign manager over made up nonsense. Actually, he is doing a great job, I never shouted at him (been with me for years, including the 2016 win), & have no intention to do so. Just FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2020
[image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images]
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