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Why June Was Such a Terrible Month for Trump

  • July 03, 2020

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor, sent the president a memo last week that White House officials described as a blunt warning that he will lose if he does not stop running the 2016 campaign all over again and urging him to develop a clear vision for the next four years.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who joined Mr. Trump for his golf outing Sunday, is urging him to run as more of a populist on issues like stimulus spending, infrastructure and prescription drugs to combat the virus-driven recession.

A handful of Mr. Trump’s allies are more focused on the staff than the candidate. They are agitating for him to overhaul his operation and effectively demote the campaign manager, Brad Parscale; that’s a move Mr. Kushner has been encouraging in the wake of the Tulsa debacle, for which he has blamed Mr. Parscale, according to people familiar with his thinking.

But some of the president’s closest advisers believe that is unlikely to happen, in part because Mr. Trump is loath to take advice from new strategists anyway.

Mr. Kushner and Mr. Parscale appear increasingly at odds. Mr. Kushner has sent mixed signals about his view of the campaign manager: In a meeting with Republican officials this week, Mr. Kushner repeatedly shushed Mr. Parscale and told him to “shut up,” according to multiple people familiar with the events, but at other times he has urged friends of the president to tell Mr. Trump they think Mr. Parscale is doing a good job.

To some of Mr. Trump’s allies, including some in the conservative news media, the outsized role Mr. Kushner himself plays is part of the problem. And Mr. Trump, for his part, has been dismissive of Mr. Kushner in discussions with advisers in recent weeks, on matters including criminal justice reform, and has indicated that he wants to follow his own impulses, not his son-in-law’s, on how to campaign.

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