Last week an internal Trump campaign poll was leaked that showed Trump trailing Democratic presidential contender and former Vice President Joe Biden in several key battleground states. This is not particularly surprising news: Trump is a polarizing figure, to put it mildly, and has long been deeply underwater in approval polls.
Nonetheless, the leak of the polls made Donald Trump “livid,” because roughly nine in 10 things Donald Trump hears in a given day appear to have a decent chance of making him “livid,” and a leaked poll from his own campaign showing that he is not nearly as popular as he insists is just the sort of thing that would do it for sure.
Privately, the president was livid that the numbers leaked out, according to White House and campaign officials.
“He is madder that the numbers are out than that the numbers exist,” said one senior administration official, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity.
May the senior Trump administration official leaking about how Trump responded to a previous leak beat never go stale. Trump, for his part, had called the leaked polls “fake news” while insisting that the real and more recent internal numbers were, of course, “great.” (He also instructed his staff to deny that the bad numbers existed.)
Donald and/or the campaign have now decided on a proper punishment for this monumental act of betrayal (that is, contradicting a favorite Trump narrative): It’s firin’ time. The Washington Post reports that his campaign is “severing its relationship” with campaign polling team members Brett Lloyd, Mike Baselice, and Adam Geller, keeping only pollsters Tony Fabrizio and John McLaughlin on board. There is as of yet no word on how that decision was reached, but presumably it is because Fabrizio and McLaughlin have a more successful history of polishing the man’s boots.