Politico's Ryan Lizza spent two weeks with President Donald Trump's campaign, and came out with a number of bizarre stories.
Within the first few paragraphs of the story, it was revealed that Trump compared himself to Charles Lindbergh getting a ticker-tape parade in 1927 when he landed after taking the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic. Lindbergh who would later in life be derided as a Nazi sympathizer after becoming a spokesperson for the isolationist America First Committee prior to World War II. The 74-year-old Trump said that when he drove through California for a fundraiser he got such a great reception it was better than Lindbergh's.
"He told a story of how in 2016 the Washington Post 'amended' its poll to be more favorable to him after he threatened to sue," wrote Lizza about another Trump exaggeration and lie. "He added, almost as an aside, as if it wasn’t a breathtaking allegation for a president to be making about his opponent, that Joe Biden 'should be in jail,' because 'he’s a criminal.'”
Trump hasn't decided what the crime is that he thinks Biden committed and it's clear that Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray haven't been able to find a crime they can charge Biden or former President Barack Obama with. It was reported Wednesday that Trump is furious with the two men for refusing to usher in an October surprise the way former FBI Director James Comey did in 2016. Trump fired Comey in May 2017 and the Post reported that the president is searching for ways he can fire Wray and Barr.
"Trump has an almost mystical belief in the power of his live events to affect the campaign," wrote Lizza.
“I’m going to go out and win the state of Arizona today with two big rallies,” Trump said in Las Vegas this week.
"Since bouncing back from COVID, he’s held 13 rallies in nine states, and that doesn’t include the one at the White House on Oct. 10 that kicked off Trump’s post-illness phase of the race," Lizza wrote, not noting whether or not Trump is still on the steroids that made him feel "better than I did 20 years ago."
Lizza recalled Trump's Arizona brag that he called the head of Exxon and demanded $25 million in exchange for policy favors.
"The bit, a regular feature of his rallies, is about how Trump could do that if he wanted but he doesn’t," he explained. "A video of the fake Exxon call went viral, politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) demanded an explanation, and Exxon put out a statement explaining that the call never happened."
It's true, the event never happened, Lizza explained that frequently Trump brags about not soliciting bribes by claiming he solicited a bribe.
"The rallies are crucial to Trump, not just because they feed his famously insatiable ego, but because they are the main vehicle by which he 'informs' his supporters what he thinks they should know that professional reporters aren't telling them," Lizza explained. "At a Trump rally, the pandemic is almost over, a vaccine is imminent, Biden is an obvious criminal (and also mentally 'gonzo'), Trump saved millions of people from COVID, he is ahead in the polls in most swing states, 'the Christmas season will be canceled' by Democrats, and there is widespread fraud with mail-in balloting."
"Also, there are sometimes 40,000 people waiting to get inside the rally and lines of cars are stretched out for 15 miles," he continued, listing off all of Trump's false exaggerations. "The Regeneron treatment he received is now available free to anyone who wants it. Hillary Clinton covered up crimes by personally shattering multiple incriminating cell phones with a hammer. (Trump loves pantomiming the hammer during this riff.)"
It's not merely another world, it's a delusion that the president has created not only for himself and his supporters but it reveals more about Trump's insecurities than it does about the 2020 election.