Appearing on MSNBC with host Ayman Mohyeldin, former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele burst out laughing and mocked Donald Trump over the White House's attempt to smear Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying it would likely boost the doctor's credibility and drag the president down even further.
Reacting to an NBC report that the Trump White House has created a tip sheet for reporters built to damage the top health official's reputation -- only for the press to instead focus on the fact that the White House is attempting to deflect responsibility for botching the COVID-19 health crisis -- Steele said Trump is losing the public relations war.
Asked by the hosts why the White House would attempt to hurt Fauci, Steele laughed.
"Well, Ayman, the answer was in the poll you showed right before we came on. That's the why," he explained. "When the president is down 3 to 1 to Fauci on who the American people trust on anything related to COVID-19, that's exactly why you see all of this coordinated, orchestrated hit job on Dr. Fauci which, at the end of the day, does nothing to help the president."
Adding that the "67 percent Trump disapproval rating percent is probably going to hit 70 or 75% by the time this is all over," Steele continued, "The president has no credibility in the healthcare space when it comes to COVID-19. The management of it, talking about it, his efforts to play it down or to write it off has been duly noted by the American people, that's why the polls are saying what it is saying and why the president is reacting the way it is reacting."
Addressing Fauci's situation, Steele elaborated by saying, "Someone is more popular than him [Trump] on something that he thinks he's most popular person to be involved with the subject. So, you know, this is not surprising. It is unfortunate because people are dying, people are getting sick. Communities are now dealing with the likelihood of having to shut down again. and there, again, is no federal leadership that is guiding the American people to the other side of what could be a good outcome for everybody. But it takes time, it takes planning and it takes smart people like Dr. Fauci to help create that road map."