Even Republicans fear Trump’s 2020 campaign will backfire as it takes a dark turn: report
AFP photo of Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign has taken a dark turn, according to a new report in The New York Times.

"Far from a one-day onslaught, it was a climactic moment in a weeklong lurch by Mr. Tru​mp back to ​​the darkest tactics that defined his rise to political power​. Even those who have grown used to Mr. Trump’s conduct in office may have found themselves newly alarmed by the grim spectacle of a sitting president deliberately stoking the country’s divisions and pursuing personal vendettas in the midst of a crisis that has Americans fearing for their lives and livelihoods," reported Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin and Nick Corasaniti.

"Since well before he became president, Mr. Trump’s appetite for conflict has defined him as a public figure. But in recent days he has practiced that approach with new intensity, signaling both the depths of his election-year distress and his determination to blast open a path to a second term, even at the cost of further riling a country in deep anguish," The Times reported.

"His electoral path has narrowed rapidly since the onset of the pandemic, as the growth-and-prosperity theme of his campaign disintegrated. In private, Mr. Trump has been plainly aggrieved at the loss of his central argument for re-election. 'They wiped out my economy!' he has said to aides, according to people briefed on the remarks," the newspaper reported. "It is unclear whether he has been referring to China, where the virus originated, or health experts who have urged widespread lockdowns, but his frustration and determination to place blame elsewhere have been emphatic."

Even some Republicans are worried.

"Still, Mr. Trump’s behavior has rattled even some supportive Republicans, who believe it is likely to backfire and possibly cost them the Senate as well as the White House. It has also further alarmed Democrats, who have long warned that Mr. Trump would be willing to use every lever of presidential power and deploy even the most unscrupulous campaign tactics to capture a second term," The Times reported.