President Trump held two big campaign-related meetings in the Oval Office on Thursday to discuss messaging and the latest polling in battleground states, officials told Fox News -- amid a slew of polling that shows Trump behind presumptive Democratic rival Joe Biden.
In attendance at the first meeting were campaign manager Brad Parscale, White House adviser Jared Kushner, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio. The second meeting, in the Cabinet Room, went on for over an hour and included the entire senior communications staff from both the campaign and the RNC.
Two campaign officials told Fox News that both meetings have been on the schedule since the beginning of the week, and reports that they were summoned because the president was upset are “not accurate.”
The officials described Trump as being in “high spirits,” and entering and exiting the room in a good mood. As he stood up to leave the second meeting, he is said to have pumped his fist and declared, “We’re going to win.”
It comes amid multiple polls that show Biden’s lead increasing over Trump, amid both the economic downturn because of the coronavirus and Trump’s response to recent protests and riots in the wake of the death of George Floyd. A recent Fox News poll found that Biden has a 9-point edge over Trump in Wisconsin, 49-40 percent.
But a new jobs report out Friday also indicates the economy may be on the rebound, with 2.5 million jobs added in May.
The topic that took up the most time was Joe Biden’s recent comment, in which he suggested that black voters who support Trump “ain’t black.” (Biden later voiced regret for the remarks.) The campaign says, immediately after Biden made those remarks, they saw “a significant spike in interaction from black voters to the campaign, asking to be involved in the Black Voices Coalition effort… more than 10,000 engagements immediately following that.”
The sources said that the president greeted the news “enthusiastically.” The campaign is making the argument, and intends to push it going forward, that Trump “actually has a record that he can point to while Biden does not” -- pointing to low pre-pandemic unemployment rates for black Americans, funding for historically black colleges and universities and criminal justice reform.
“None of those things happened in the eight years that Biden was VP,” an official said.
There was a hint of that from Trump on Thursday, when he zeroed in again on Biden’s support for the 1994 crime bill -- which critics say led to mass incarceration of black Americans and hurt communities.
“Sleepy Joe Biden’s 1994 Crime Bill was a total disaster,” Trump tweeted. “It was mass incarceration for Black people, many of them innocent. I did Criminal Justice Reform, something Obama & Biden didn’t even try to do - & couldn’t do even if they did try. Biden can never escape his Crime Bill.”
On the recent polling, the campaign believes most external polls are wrong and that their internal polls, which supposedly show Trump “very strong against Biden in all of the 17 states that we monitor,” are accurate.
One top campaign aide told Fox News, “We don’t spend millions on polls to be lied to. We pay because we believe ours are better.”