Advisers to US President Donald Trump believe that his behavior this summer, in which he has been accused of deliberately stirring America’s racial tensions, may have harmed his prospects of election in 2020, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.
Staff close to the president, as well as allies outside the White House, have privately complained that the summer has been one of “missed opportunity and self sabotage” for Trump, The Post reported.
Some supporters have publicly criticized Trump’s actions over the summer, with Dan Eberhart, the CEO of the drilling-services company Canary who is also a Republican donor, telling The Post: “Trump squandered a summer of opportunity to enhance his reelection campaign.”
“While Democrats are divided and focused on their own primary, President Trump could have focused on solving the trade war, a genuine infrastructure plan, or a decisive foreign policy victory,” he added.
“Instead, he fanned the flames of the trade war, attacked Baltimore, ‘the Squad,’ and the Federal Reserve, and failed to add a cornerstone achievement to his 2020 election credentials.”
Eberhart concluded: “As a Republican, all you can do is hope it doesn’t end in a wreck.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on the report but said in a statement to The Post that Trump had “accomplished more at this point in his first term than any president in history.”
“His policies are building a safer, stronger and more secure America,” the White House spokesman Judd Deere said.
In a July 4 speech in Washington, DC, Trump avoided the partisan attacks that characterize his campaign rallies and focused instead on praising the achievements of the US military.
But since then he has launched a series of racist attacks against four Democratic congresswomen and launched inflammatory insults against the majority-black city of Baltimore.
In a tweet Monday, Trump denied that he had “brought racist attacks” against the four congresswomen, saying they had “brought racist attacks against our Nation.”
“All I do is call them out for the horrible things they have said,” he said.
In recent weeks, critics have pointed to a link between Trump’s hardline anti-migrant rhetoric and the violent hatred of immigrants thought to have motivated the gunman in the El Paso, Texas, mass shooting.
Trump used a trip to visit victims of the shooting and another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, to attack political opponents.
In recent weeks economists have predicted that a recession may be on its way, imperiling the strong economic performance that president has boasted of under his presidency when making his case for reelection.
Among the factors being blamed for the economic slowdown is the president’s trade war on China, with the administration’s team of negotiators reportedly no closer to striking a new trade deal with Beijing and ending the standoff.
In a survey of Trump’s approval ratings compiled by the pollster FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s disapproval rating had increased from 52.6% on July 4 to 54.2% on Friday.
Some analysts, however, believe that Trump’s divisive rhetoric and hardline stance with China may actually strengthen his hand as the 2020 campaign gears up.
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