President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE lashed out at his campaign manager during a meeting on Friday over poll numbers that showed him trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.
Trump shouted through the phone at campaign manager Brad ParscaleBradley (Brad) James ParscaleMORE while the president was huddled with advisers during a meeting last week, three people familiar with the matter told CNN. The New York Times later reported on the same exchange, citing people familiar with the situation.
Trump berated Parscale over the poll numbers and even threatened to sue him at one point, CNN reported, noting that it’s not clear how serious the president’s threat was.
People briefed on the call told the Times that Parscale replied, “I love you, too.”
Spokespeople for the White House and Trump campaign were not immediately available for comment.
Two sources told CNN that Trump and Parscale patched things up later Friday night.
Two days before Trump lashed out at Parscale, the president had been briefed by his campaign manager and several top political advisers on internal campaign and Republican National Committee (RNC) data that showed him heading for a loss in key 2020 battleground states, CNN reported.
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Parscale, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielGOP moves main 2020 convention events, including Trump speech, to Jacksonville GOP votes to scale back Charlotte convention, move Trump acceptance speech The Hill’s Morning Report – DC preps for massive Saturday protest; Murkowski breaks with Trump MORE and other advisers urged Trump to scale back his daily news conferences, pointing to data showing that the often combative briefings were hurting Trump with swing voters in those states, according to CNN.
Trump complained to aides that his restricted travel has hurt his numbers, not the briefings, CNN reported.
Trump and Biden, as well as other political candidates, have had to shift their campaigns to focus on virtual events amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has limited large social gatherings.
Several recent polls in swing states found Biden leading Trump. A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month found Biden with an 8-point lead over Trump in Florida, and a Fox News poll released last week found Biden with an 8-point lead over Trump in Michigan.