With his daily White House briefings, Donald Trump is talking more than ever and many of his supporters now believe he’s about to talk himself out of the the White House. The New York Times says “Aides and allies increasingly believe the president’s daily briefings are hurting him more than helping, and are urging him to let his medical experts take center stage.”
Mr. Trump “sometimes drowns out his own message,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has become one of the president’s informal counselors and told him “a once-a-week show” could be more effective. Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana said “they’re going on too long.” Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said the briefings were “going off the rails a little bit” and suggested that he should “let the health professionals guide where we’re going to go.”
Reporters Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin write that Graham said, “I told (Trump) your opponent is no longer Joe Biden — it’s this virus.”
One of Mr. Trump’s top political advisers, speaking on the condition of anonymity so as not to anger the president, was even blunter, arguing that the White House was handing Mr. Biden ammunition each night by sending the president out to the cameras.
The Wall Street Journal, a newspaper owned by Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, is known for its conservative leanings and often its opinion pieces align with Donald Trump. But not this week. Thursday, the newspaper’s editorial board wrote about how the briefings “are now all about the President.”
Mr. Trump seems to have concluded that the briefings could be a showcase for him. Perhaps they substitute in his mind for the campaign rallies he can no longer hold because of the risks. Perhaps he resented the media adulation that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been receiving for his daily show. Whatever the reason, the briefings are now all about the President.
Even more stinging, the editorial board went on to say:
The President’s outbursts against his political critics are also notably off key at this moment. This isn’t impeachment, and Covid-19 isn’t shifty Schiff. It’s a once-a-century threat to American life and livelihood.
Trump took notice of the opinion piece and apparently missed the entire point because he tweeted that the board didn’t mention his ratings.
The editorial board responded to Trump’s tweet by countering that “the reason they’re a ratings hit” isn’t because of Trump but because people are tuning in for “a subject that is literally a life and death matter.”
The ratings that will matter for Mr. Trump this year are where he stands in public approval come November. And those ratings will depend on Mr. Trump’s results in conquering Covid-19
Fox News Brit Hume, a conservative commentator, also lit into Trump.