Citing individuals briefed on the situation, the publication reported that the White House meeting was held as Trump’s “political standing erodes in key battleground states.”
White House adviser Jared Kushner, Trump 2020 campaign chief Brad Parscale, Deputy Campaign Manager Bill Stepien, pollster Tony Fabrizio, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadow, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reportedly participated in the meeting.
“One of the people said it was expected to be a tense meeting, describing internal polls that show Trump performing poorly in politically competitive states across the country. The people asked not to be identified because the meeting wasn’t on Trump’s public schedule for the day,” per Bloomberg.
The Hill confirmed that the event took place. According to the publication, strategy for the 2020 presidential election was also discussed. As an official briefed on the matter explained, the president and his allies concluded that defining former Vice President Joe Biden to voters will be key to winning the November.
“When Joe Biden is defined the president runs very strong against him,” the publication’s source said.
After the meeting with his top advisers, Trump reportedly held an additional briefing about outreach to the African-American community. Advisers Katrina Pierson and Paris Dennard reportedly participated in the discussion. Trump is apparently looking to make inroads with the black community, amid protests over George Floyd’s death.
The president has repeatedly dismissed the demonstrators as “thugs” and “hoodlums,” but his team appears determined to put a dent in Biden’s support among African Americans. In recent days, Trump has repeatedly suggested that he has done more for African Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery.
“Thursday’s meeting came at a contentious time for the president in his reelection bid. He is grappling with multiple national crises, and he has seen Biden pull ahead in several polls in recent weeks,” The Hill noted.
According to recent polling, Biden has indeed surged ahead. For instance, a new Quinnipiac University survey showed the two candidates tied in the traditionally red state of Texas. Furthermore, a poll from Monmouth University showed Biden 11 points ahead of Trump nationwide and Fox News polling showed Trump trailing the Democrat in Arizona, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released last week put Biden ahead of Trump nationwide, showing that the president’s approval ratings have dropped. According to the survey, Trump’s approval ratings — which surged in March — are now back in the negative territory.