In the past few weeks, Donald Trump and close allies have kept tabs on prominent conservatives who the president believes are gearing up to throw him under the bus in the event he loses his bid for re-election.
Two individuals who have spoken to Trump say the president has expressed suspicion that members of his own party believe he will be defeated by Joe Biden. That sense of paranoia has been fed by the president’s aides and confidants, who have flagged recent news coverage for him of Republican politicians either openly criticizing his conduct or trying to distance themselves from a possible electoral bloodbath. According to one of the sources with direct knowledge, the president is already contemplating retribution.
“[The president] said something to the effect of: if you’re backing away from him now, don’t bother coming back for a favor when he wins,” the other source said. “He made a comment about how there are some people out there who you can only count on when things are going your way.”