I never want to use the photos of Donald Trump and Barack Obama in the same frame, especially the pics from their Oval Office meeting and from the 2017 inauguration. Even years later, I can feel the bile at the back of my throat, and the depression sets in and it’s just the worst. The fact that Barack Obama had to invite that old orange Nazi to the Oval Office after the election… Jesus, I’ll never be okay with it. But our friend Barry has come to play. He stayed quiet after Trump was sworn into office, and he stayed quiet throughout the primaries. And now he’s in the mood to bait the f–k out Trump. He’s already started, and Trump has been having a series of meltdowns in the face of Obama’s criticisms. It’s amazing. But Vanity Fair’s bigly sources want us to know that Trump *wants* to go to war with Barack Obama.
During a week when America’s COVID-19 death toll approached 90,000, Trump allies floated smears that Biden was a tool of China, an invalid eating from a spoon, and even a pedophile, none of which caused damage. Sources close to Trump said the president has vented to friends about the lack of focused firepower coming out of the campaign. “There is deep frustration that there is no overarching message,” an unofficial campaign adviser told me.
According to sources, Trump believes the answer to the message weakness is to declare all-out war on Biden’s former boss: Barack Obama. “Trump knows Biden is only popular because he was Obama’s V.P.,” a prominent Republican told me. Which is why, a few days after Parscale’s Death Star tweet, Trump accused Obama of unnamed crimes under the umbrella of “Obamagate.” “Obama is going to be on the campaign trail in a big way. He’s the most popular Democrat of the past four decades. Trump knows you have to neutralize him, and he’s frustrated Brad didn’t think of that,” the campaign adviser said. “Trump feels he’s doing it all alone.”
But Trump’s targeting of Obama has been causing consternation among Republicans, who fear he is pursuing a base-incitement strategy when he needs to appeal to crucial suburban voters in must-win battleground states. “Going after Obama is a big risk,” a former West Wing official said. “Obama is seen as trustworthy and reasonable. If you attack him and people don’t buy it, then you have a huge swing and a miss in front of the entire country.” Another prominent Republican agreed: “Trump cannot draw Obama into this. Obama can’t be ‘softened’ up. American people know him and like him.”
Trump has been leaning on powerful Republicans to join his war on Obama, sources told me. Last Thursday, Trump tweeted at Senate Judiciary chair Lindsey Graham, saying that Graham needed to call Obama to testify at hearings on Michael Flynn’s unmasking and the origin of the Russia probe. Graham rejected the request. “Trump thinks Lindsey isn’t doing anything on Flynn,” a former White House official said. According to the former official, Trump recently asked prominent allies to tweet negative things about Graham, and he has been complaining that Graham is a hanger-on. “Trump has said, ‘Since [John] McCain died, Lindsey follows me around and shows up to play golf and I don’t even invite him,’” according to the source briefed on the conversation.
“Trump hates Obama,” a former Trump adviser told me. “He used to go around calling Obama a ‘child.’” As a prominent Republican told me, “With Obama he’s going for the jugular. I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts out the really dirty stuff.”
Whew, that is A LOT. Trump called Obama a “child” huh? Are you sure Trump didn’t call him “boy”? Either way, no racist dog whistles there! This made me LMAO: “Trump knows you have to neutralize him, and he’s frustrated Brad didn’t think of that. Trump feels he’s doing it all alone.” I mean… did Trump’s campaign manager really not understand that Obama would be active in the presidential campaign? Or did Brad know that and he just let Trump come up with his own unhinged strategy, which apparently includes forcing Lindsay Graham to haul in Obama for some kind of Obamagate hearing? Anyway, this is just a reminder: Obama baited Trump SO EASILY. All it took was some comments to former staffers on a phone call, and Trump has been throwing pissy tantrums nonstop. Imagine what it will be like when Obama finally strides up to a podium and lets loose.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Backgrid.