Donald Trump reportedly spent the weekend furiously watching the numerous television interviews conducted by Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to The Daily Beast. In many of the public appearances and statements, Fauci often appeared to offer veiled criticism at the Trump administration and openly claimed that working for President Biden was a "liberating" experience.
Two different insiders claimed Trump was tuning into the segments in what the outlet deemed a fit of "hate-watching" and "self-obsession." In addition to watching the interviews, Trump allegedly told friends that Fauci had been "incompetent" and complained that he should have fired him -- even though the president does not technically have that ability.
In addition, Trump was reportedly frustrated that he was locked out of Twitter and unable to hit back at Fauci's comments. He was permanently suspended from the social media platform following the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill.
Insiders also revealed that the former president felt similarly frustrated when the Biden administration claimed there was no existing vaccine program, when in fact the United States ranks fifth in the world in terms of vaccination rates and had been meeting Biden's own targets.
"He very much feels that a lot of people are working to downgrade his legacy out of hatred for him," one source said.
Meanwhile, Fauci began his onslaught of criticism on Thursday, when he talked to reporters at the White House about the differences between the two administrations.
"One of the new things in this administration is if you don't know the answer, don't guess, just say you don't know the answer," Fauci said.
The chief medical advisor also revealed that he had previously felt pressure to paint a more optimistic picture of the pandemic than he felt was warranted.
"There were a couple of times where I would make a statement that was a pessimistic viewpoint about what direction we were going, and [President Trump] would call me up and say, 'Hey, why aren't you more positive? You've got to take a positive attitude. Why are you so negativistic? Be more positive,'" Fauci told The New York Times.
Fauci also appeared on left-leaning shows such as The Rachel Maddow Show, during which he told Maddow that he had wanted to appear on the program earlier but had been blocked by Trump's team, per Business Insider.
The critical comments come after reports had long hinted at a feud between Fauci and Trump. The two had reportedly clashed on many coronavirus-related issues. One of the most central was Trump's belief that businesses and schools should re-open as soon as possible. In contrast, Fauci favored continued lockdowns, though he eventually changed his opinion on school re-openings.