While his recent trip abroad in Asia was eventful by its own right, President Donald Trump was quick to stir up plenty of controversies upon his return home. Between suggesting the UCLA basketballs players freed by China thank him for intervening, pulling a Marco Rubio, and wading into the Al Franken controversy, Trump seemingly relished re-entering the American news media’s domestic spotlight. According to a new report out at Politico, however, the president was also quick to resume one of his favorite pastimes — finding, reading and sharing positive poll numbers.
As Trump has demonstrated countless times, his ego-driven approach to everything from politics to business involves proud, repetitive and often incorrect boasts about his accomplishments. Per Politico’s White House sources, however, the president’s fascination with poll numbers is also fueled by his own staff:
Aides in the White House often show Trump polls designed to make him feel good, according to aides and advisers. Usually they’re the ones that focus just on voters who cast ballots for him in 2016 or are potential Trump supporters — Trump’s base — but occasionally include public polls like Rasmussen, depending on what the numbers say.
Seeing as how the administration’s internal polling is primarily used to cheer up the constantly embattled president, many White House official have become weary — both of the polls’ results, and of the possible negative effects they’re having on Trump’s demeanor as the President of the United States. Per two sources who spoke with Politico, the numbers regularly shown to Trump are “just not accurate” and “delusional.” Then again, the president has long remained in what outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie calls “campaign mode,” so that he would stay focused on polling — no matter how inaccurate — isn’t all that surprising.
This is, after all, the same man who indirectly responded to Hillary Clinton’s statements on the legitimacy of the 2016 election results with a tweet calling on her to run again in 2020. No, really.