Trump is freaking out about the economy and 'the White House doesn't know what to do': CNN reporter
Donald Trump jokes with reporters after greeting Harley-Davidson executives on the South Lawn of the White House. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP

CNN White House reporter Abby Phillip on Thursday said that President Donald Trump is quickly realizing that he will have almost nothing to run on if the economy crashes next year, and is scrambling to find some way to appeal to voters.

Sources have told CNN that the president in recent days has been pushing aides to do whatever they can to get his long-promised border wall built because he realizes that he'll otherwise have nothing to run on if the economy goes south.

Unfortunately for the president, Phillip explained, even getting the wall built won't come anywhere close enough to get the president enough votes should the economy tank.

"The problem for the president is the fallback plan really only appeals to a narrow swathe of voters," she said.

She then explained how the president has no one but himself to blame for the tough predicament he's found himself in.

"Some of this is a problem of his own making," she said. "Last year, around the time the president started to escalate his trade war with China, he believed the economy was strong enough to withstand a trade war... and yes, the economy was strong, but it was never as strong as he made it out to be. It was basically on par with the performance of the economy in his predecessor's time."

And given that the president seems dead set on staring down China in his trade war, Phillip said, it's left the White House with few options.

"Frankly, the White House doesn't know what to do about it," she said.

Watch the video below.