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Trump and Aides Getting 'Spooked' About a Coming GOP Midterms 'Slaughter'
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=35187"><span class="small">Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast</span></a>   
Thursday, 01 November 2018 13:08

Suebsaeng writes: "In recent months, President Trump has insisted that a 'red wave' is coming this November and that Republicans would hold onto, and even expand, their majorities in the House and the Senate. But as the election has gotten closer, the president's outlook has increasingly soured."

Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke has been drawing huge crowds. (photo: Getty)
Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke has been drawing huge crowds. (photo: Getty)

Trump and Aides Getting 'Spooked' About a Coming GOP Midterms 'Slaughter'

By Asawin Suebsaeng, The Daily Beast

01 November 18

Publicly, the talk is of retaining control of the House. Privately, they’re getting ready for Democratic-led investigations.

n recent months, President Trump has insisted that a “red wave” is coming this November and that Republicans would hold onto, and even expand, their majorities in the House and the Senate.

But as the election has gotten closer, the president’s outlook has increasingly soured, and that optimism he once exhibited from the campaign trail has been replaced by tangible fear over what a Democratic House next year might mean to his administration and inner circle.

“He’s definitely more spooked than he was before,” a senior West Wing official told The Daily Beast. “Several of us are expecting to spend more time [testifying] on the Hill soon.”

In public, Trump world is still arguing that Republicans will hold on to control of the House, with the president triumphantly tweeting taunts at the media for failing to acknowledge just how big an impact he is having in motivating voters.

“He thinks it’s going to be close… We’ve all believed it’s going to be close,” Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. Giuliani serves as a lead Trump attorney for the Russia probe, but he has also advised Trump on political matters. Trump, he said, thinks Republicans are “going to win” but that the president has acknowledged that “it’s much closer than people realize.”

But three sources close to the president say that Trump and his aides are privately far more pessimistic. Recently, the president has stressed in conversations with confidants that if things go south for the GOP in November, he won’t take the blame and is prepared to scapegoat other party leaders. In Trump’s West Wing, words such as “slaughter” and “massacre” have come up among political, policy, and communications advisers in their private predictions of what this month could bring, according to three sources present for such conversations.

The growing sense of doom over the House possibly flipping has fed Trump’s political maneuvering over past few weeks. The president has pursued an aggressive, prolific campaign rally schedule as the election nears, driven in large part by the unease of his team. Politico reported last week that the White House was plotting a “political rescue mission in Florida,” out of fears that Republican defeat in the crucial swing state could hobble Trump’s 2020 reelection chances. At other stops, he has made the message just as much—if not more—about his own standing and agenda than the candidate he flew in to help.

Trump’s political schedule has become so packed, in fact, that it’s pushed many other weighty items to the back burner, including potentially providing answers to some of the questions coming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Giuliani said that he had tried to schedule a sit-down, preferably for three or four hours, with the president a few days ago to discuss those questions. But factors such as the terror-filled news cycle—“God almighty, there were the bombs… and Pittsburgh,” as Giuliani described—and Trump’s time crisscrossing the country to try to boost Republicans consumed too much of the presidential schedule.

“[His rally schedule] gets in the way because you don’t want to do it on [Air Force One],” Giuliani said, adding that he is hoping to get a meeting on the books a week to ten days after election night on Tuesday. “For example, if someone sat in on a Q&A period, you’ve jeopardized attorney-client privilege,” Giuliani said.

Even Trump’s characteristic swagger has begun to fade, albeit only slightly. The president still publicly projects confidence. But he has stopped tweeting or talking about a “RED WAVE!” as much as he used to. He doesn’t get up on stage and mock the importance of voting Republican in 2018 the way he did earlier this year. And he’s been busy pre-spinning a possible bad night on Election Day, with his latest effort coming in the form of a tweet knocking House Speaker Paul Ryan for supposedly being more interested in pushing back on the president’s hard-line immigration pronouncements than in protecting the House Republican majority.

Those pronouncements—including pledges of an executive order to change the Constitution and end birthright citizenship—have become the defining feature of Trump and the Republican Party’s closing pitch to American voters. But their actual electoral impact has been unclear. The president spent weeks attempting to gin up press coverage and manufacture political and xenophobic outrage over a caravan and impoverished Honduran migrants—only to see his efforts pushed aside by headlines and news cycles totally out of his control.

Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn on Wednesday that he wasn’t going to “blame anybody” if the elections went badly for Republicans on Tuesday. “I think we’re doing well with the House,” he said, “we have to see.” It was a confident posture with a notable tell. Numerous sources close to the president have said that “we’ll see” or “we have to see” is often Trump’s way of conveying extreme doubt.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2018 14:45


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+5 # DongiC 2018-11-01 20:08
Get ready, Sir Donald, the chickens are beginning to roost and your comeuppance for all the nasty things that you have done while in office is just about to take place. All the lies, all the cheats, all the underhand and sneaky things that have marked your first two years as the worst in American History are ready to haunt you. Hopefully, in the next year we will be able to say goodbye and good riddance to you and all your despicable helpers. As human beings, you are total failures.
+5 # Macserp 2018-11-01 21:06
Let's face it, Trump is stalling Mueller pre mid-term elections. He's acting like a child who has been cornered in a lie. I'm sure the White House and the Repubs are running damage control against a leak from the Mueller interview in the event it could have a negative impact on the midterms. It's the classic dodge of a teenager caught red-handed - stall, stall, stall and hope something breaks in your favor. He should not get to dictate the terms of a sit down with Special Counsel. That's absurd and everyone should know that.
+5 # jcdav 2018-11-02 06:36
Dolt45 has inflicted his nightmare on US for over a year. Vote BLUE and inflict our dream of a just America on him.
+5 # johnescher 2018-11-02 07:54
Never takes the blame. Knee-jerk pronouncements on everything. What an awful person.
+2 # Elroys 2018-11-02 15:22
trump is the spook. Big majority are decent and thoughtful Americans who care deeply about our future and our children.
Trumpty dumpty is going to have a HUGE, great big fall, and not only won't we put him back together, we are going to spread his tiny little ego shell to the winds so that his kind of human will never again even think of a wall from which to fall.
The tsunami is coming, hair trump. You're done.

+4 # Benign Observer 2018-11-03 10:58
Make a case that we need to vote D to check Trump's abuses -- I'll buy that rationally.

But don't tell me I have to sing psalms to the Democrats. I continue to demand they improve. They didn't learn from 2016, which puts us at greater risk in 2020.

This is what pisses me off about establishment apologists. You're helping disempower progressives who are consistently proven right about elections -- it might benefit the party to listen to us! Establishment entrenchment, a common institutional phenomenon, is killing the party, the country and the planet.

It's not just a corrupt GOP, fossil fuel companies and Wall Street thieves who are the problem. It's the fact that the Democrats have bought into this system and don't fight it.

They haven't checked Trump. Schumer helps conservative judges sail through while Blue Dogs vote with him. GOP ineptness is what saved us, not a Better Deal. They should be in yoga class not running our country. They are geriatric DINOs whose greatest priority is fundraising.

Sanders' revolution #2: Small money donations make Pelosi irrelevant.

This isn't partisan. We need to get the profit out of politics and war. Only then will we be able to talk about values and policy.

Trump is an existential danger. Some of us hoped he'd grow into the role of president. Instead he doubles down on fear. But he's a man, not a monster, and beatable.

But I refuse to say Perez, Pelosi, Hoyer etc are worth warm spit.