This wasn’t the election year summer that President Donald Trump planned.
Set to run on a booming economy and a conservative court takeover, he has seen a pandemic, economic devastation, and race riots intervene. Now hard-pressed for a positive agenda item, Trump is plotting to go even more scorched earth than usual, ginning up national turmoil and painting his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, as sympathetic to left-wing violence.
Republicans concede that the strategy is born from a place of desperation. As cascading crises have dented the president’s re-election prospects, Trump and his political machine have been forced to pause and revise their election strategy. And with no end to the civil unrest in sight, an economy that shows few signs of a quick rebound, and the looming prospect of a new coronavirus wave, they have few options left to use other than the nuclear.
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