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'Nobody likes me,' Trump complains, as even his allies fade

August 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Lamenting his plunging popularity this week, a self-pitying President Donald Trump wondered how it all went wrong.

"It can only be my personality," Trump said, "that's all. "

Even his staunchest Republican allies flatly rejected his suggestion that November's voting be delayed, some actually laughing at what, by most accounts, was a serious (if toothless) proposal from the President to undermine the election. The nation's civic leadership, including three of Trump's four living predecessors, gathered without him in Atlanta to honor the late Rep. John Lewis, making the sitting president's absence conspicuous if unsurprising. Stimulus talks on Capitol Hill have proceeded almost entirely without his participation, and have been notable mainly for the disarray they have exposed among Republicans, many of whom were unpleasantly surprised to learn the President's demand for a new FBI building was included in the final proposal. In a closed door hearing on Friday, intelligence officials working in Trump's own administration discounted the possibility of foreign countries mass-producing fake ballots to interfere in the November elections -- a claim Trump seemed to be making simultaneously from the Cabinet Room. And the concerted push by Trump to delegitimize mail-in ballots is raising alarm bells among Republican operatives, who are worried the President's demand for in-person voting will mainly serve to dampen turnout among his own supporters.

Far from a mere difference of "personality," the examples of "nobody liking" Trump this week suggested a President actively isolating himself in his own bubble of conspiracy theories and questionable science, with fewer and fewer people willing to step inside to join him.

White House officials are still weighing their options for how Trump will formally accept the nomination, one person familiar with the planning said, including assessing sites around the country where he might deliver a prime-time address.

Trump has voiced versions of "nobody likes me" for the past several months, those people said, describing an in-the-dumps president brought low by a pandemic he feels he has little ability to control.

Instead of avoiding the question or denying knowledge about Trump's tweet on Thursday suggesting an election delay -- a tactic they've fallen back on before when the President dispatches something inconvenient or embarrassing -- nearly every Republican this week rejected the idea out of hand.

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