Jun 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump aides despondent over Buffalo protester tweet

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

My phone blew up yesterday with texts from White House aides, current and former, who seemed at their wits' end over President Trump's tweet that the 75-year-old Buffalo protester who was rushed to the hospital after being shoved by police last week "could be an ANTIFA provocateur."

Why it matters: They rarely register the president's tweets anymore — let alone complain about them. This one felt different.

  • Here was Trump — struggling in the polls, damaged with independents and women who hate his tone — trafficking in a bizarre conspiracy that he had seen on the right-wing OANN cable network to excuse a blatant example of police misconduct.
  • All this on the morning of George Floyd's funeral.

The context: POTUS aides and the campaign had constructed this week around getting Trump into the conversation around rebuilding/recovering, listening to ideas about police reform, etc.

  • One former aide remarked that it's tweets like this that make him wonder whether Trump actually wants to get re-elected.
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