New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, along with Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, revealed Monday that President Donald Trump is "a ball of volatility" going into the election. While it seems that's Trump's standard, it's reasonable to assume that the president could be fearful that he is about to be entering a season of litigation.
“Man, it’s going to be embarrassing if I lose to this guy,” Trump told advisers as well as his fans. At a rally Monday, Trump even pondered if he cried if it would save him from losing on Tuesday.
There is a "we love you" chant for Trump in Pennsylvania. He jokingly urges them not to make him cry, then says the… https://t.co/nGnKn3axew— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale) 1604346526.0
In private, however, Trump usually combines "This guy!" with a few obscenities thrown in.
Trump has worked over the past months to try and suppress votes, to convince Americans the vote can't be trusted, intimidate Democrats, and with the help of the GOP sue his way into throwing away Democratic ballots. Everything has failed.
"The president, his associates say, has drawn encouragement from his larger audiences and from a stream of relatively upbeat polling information that advisers have curated for him, typically filtering out the bleakest numbers," said the Times.
The report said that Trump's aides are even telling him that he's going to win the Electoral College, something that isn't supported by any polls.
"And Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, has responded with chipper enthusiasm when Mr. Trump has raised the idea of making a late bid for solidly Democratic states like New Mexico, an option other aides have told the president is flatly unrealistic," the Times explained.
Now, in the final days, Trump is a mixture of misplaced giddy excitement and anger that the delusion in his bubble isn't the reality seen on television anywhere. It may make the lives of staffers easier, but the Times explained that isolating the president means he is severed from the political realities of a country in crisis." It has led to a closing campaign message that makes no sense, has no agenda, absent of any plan for dealing with any problems and generally making him look far out of touch with the country.
"Republican lawmakers have offered less rosy assessments of his prospects, and in private some Trump advisers do not argue the point," said the Times. "One high-ranking Republican member of Congress vented to Mr. Meadows last month that if Mr. Trump 'is trying to lose the election I can’t think of anything I’d tell him to do differently,' the lawmaker recalled, noting that the aide only nodded his head in acknowledgment. 'They just think they can’t do anything about it.'"
Florida Republican Party chair Joe Gruters told a Florida audience in Tampa last week that Trump has the election in "a lock."
“You can take it to the bank and cash the check,” Gruters said. As for the Democrats: “We’re crushing them on the ground. That’s what’s going to make the difference.”
However, anyone who's dealt with Trump in business knows that taking his checks to the bank doesn't always mean it'll cash.
In private, Trump has confessed that if he loses he expects prosecutors to come after him.
"He is concerned not only about existing investigations in New York, but the potential for new federal probes as well, according to people who have spoken with him," the report cited. In public, Trump has said the opposite, even suggesting that the Supreme Court would hand him a victory and protect him because he appointed the justices on the court.
Trump has said that he plans to move in with lawyers the second the polls close. A congressional strategist said that Jared Kushner said Sunday that he's not asking any buy-in from elected Republicans about fighting the results in court.
“Arizona and Georgia are a big deal,” said GOP strategist Nick Everhart. “That’s a shift people thought would come but once they’re gone they’re hard to reel back.”
Even Trump's own advisers know that he'll likely lose the popular vote, possibly even by a larger margin than in 2016.