Trump is campaigning on the claim that his own government failed him: op-ed
President Donald Trump giving a coronavirus briefing (screengrab)

Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Greg Sargent says that President Trump's strategy for reelection in 2020 is to pit himself against his own government.

"That strategy is to run once again as an outsider, which requires using his own government as a foil," Sargent writes. "Trump advisers tell the [Associated Press] that Trump will be positioned as the outsider relative to Joe Biden, which you can see in the new label that Trump propagandists have been applying to Biden: 'swamp monster.'"

According to Sargent, this argument amounts to nothing less than an admission of failure.

"To serve the illusion that we’re 'transitioning to greatness,' Trump has been urging the country to reopen faster, regardless of whether states, in so doing, defy guidelines set by his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," Sargent continues. "When Trump tweets the command to 'REOPEN OUR COUNTRY,' he is saying the word of his own government’s experts and scientists should be defied or, to some extent, ignored."

In short, Trump wants to disseminate the idea that his own government failed him.

"That’s galling on its own. But note what Trump is not saying here. He is not pointing to ways in which his own government, under his leadership, actually did scale up an early and robust federal response that actually did succeed in taming the virus."

Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.