New York Magazine

A Socially Distanced Campaign

DONALD TRUMP GLANCES up at the TVs on the wall or down at the newspapers on his desk. He sees himself distorted by the fake-news media. He sees his presidency under siege. With the exception of Fox News and its imitators, the coverage is uniformly critical or pessimistic, the headlines and cable segments a bundle of spears he’s unfit to dodge. Each one pricks the skin. He grows angry and annoyed.

He begins asking questions, addressing them to no one in particular. “He’s like, ‘Where are my people?!’” a senior White House official tells me, describing a scene the president acts out again and again. “‘I don’t have any fighters. I don’t have any people. Where are they?’”

It’s often said that Trump is his own best spokesman. Howard Rubenstein, his mouthpiece in the 1980s and ’90s, even

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