President Donald Trump has long relied on parroting Fox News and cherry-picked, often misleading data in order to portray confidence ahead of the 2020 election. The president has also, without evidence, repeatedly claimed that if it had not been for the special counsel’s Russia investigation, his favorability ratings would be much higher.
But Trump’s fraught relationship with the truth about his popularity has now reportedly moved onto bizarre efforts to bury the results of his own campaign’s polling data.
According to the New York Times, Trump was recently presented with the results of a 17-state internal poll that showed Biden leading in several key states. Afterward, the president reportedly ordered his staff to publicly deny that such data existed. When the internal numbers eventually leaked, the Times says he went one step further, ordering his staff to push friendlier data that ignored the “devastating” results presented by his own pollster.
Campaign officials have since denied that they were told to lie about the data, which mirrors other recent polls showing Trump trailing Biden.
The alleged scrambled attempt to conceal his own polling data comes as Trump and Biden are both set to appear in Iowa on Tuesday, the first time the two men will campaign in the same state on the same day this election season. Biden is expected to label Trump as an “existential threat” to the country.