Fear of 'off the rails' Trump forced aides to 'soften' bad news during strategy sessions: former White House insider
Donald Trump (Photo via AFP)

Responding to an excerpt from Maggie Haberman's "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America," a former senior White House aide under Trump stated that reporting that Jared Kushner inflated Trump's poll numbers to his face during the 2020 presidential election in an effort to quell his tantrums sounds about right.

As Rolling Stone reports, Trump's son-in-law was skeptical of polling that showed his father-in-law losing to Joe Biden, and tried to soften the blow when giving updates.

The Rolling Stone report states Haberman wrote, "Kushner, who oversaw reelection strategy from his post as a White House senior adviser, advised a …campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, to inflate Trump’s standing in surveys that would be shown to the candidate by adding percentage points to his position in the horse race.”

Asawin Suebsaeng of Rolling Stone adds, "...'the “ostensible reason' for this was Kushner and others’ contention that polling firms 'always missed Trump voters.' However, to various Trump 2020 officials, it was obvious that the 'real reason' for Kushner’s advice to Fabrizio was to 'avoid upsetting Trump.'"

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Asked about Haberman's claim, a former Trump aide said it was highly likely that Kushner was trying to avoid Trump's wrath based on the president's general demeanor during the 2020 campaign.

“There is no doubt in my mind that that was the reason,” they explained. “There were discussions among other members of the Trump campaign about hiding or softening bad news like that, if only so that fewer [strategy] meetings [with Trump] would go off the rails because he was pissed off about people saying he was losing to Biden.”

The report adds, "At the time, a variety of Trump’s closest confidants were similarly happy to indulge the then-president’s claims that the public polling had to be rigged against him, and the delusion that there was simply no way he could be trailing his Democratic foe. For instance, Haberman writes, Fox News host and frequent Trump adviser Sean Hannity 'told Trump aides he did not trust the polling he was seeing and would commission his own.'"

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