Just after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio had good news for Donald Trump—Republicans just might hold on to both the Senate and the House in the upcoming election. That forecast had the ever-moody Trump feeling very sunny, writes Vanity Fair.
“Trump’s mood was great,” a former West Wing official who spoke with him told me.
But that Kavanaugh “bump,” such as it was, hasn’t lasted through the final stretch, according to most everyone’s count, including Fabrizio’s. He now believes Republicans will lose the House and has told as much to Trump’s aides. In fact, they’ve been feeling so politically desperate in the wake of the “MAGA bomber” and the Tree of Live Synagogue massacre that they toyed with the idea of Trump delivering a big “unity” speech from the Oval Office. But Trump wasn’t having it—he panned the idea.
Instead, they decided to go full on base, whipping up GOP hysteria with nativist appeals and attacks on the media.
“He was really upset the momentum had been killed by the pipe bombs,” one Republican close to the White House told Vanity Fair. Thus, Trump’s unconscionable “Bomb stuff” tweet about what a shame it was that pipe bombs intended to kill Democrats were slowing GOP momentum at the polls.
Now, it’s catch as catch can: CNN and the media, birthright citizenship, terrorists among the migrants, troops at the border.
“All of this feels like Hail Mary passes—throw red meat to drive turnout,” a former West Wing official said. “In a way, the Kavanaugh bump peaked too early.” Oh, what could have been if only Trump’s conspiracy theories hadn’t literally been weaponized.
As one might expect, Trump is kinda losing it given the turn of events. “The president is self-destructing,” one former White House official said.
Buckle up, the week to come is going to be grim.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.