President Donald Trump has described his infamous July call with Ukraine’s president as “perfect.” He has insisted the whistleblower is a “Never Trumper“ who opposed his presidency. And he blasts House Democrats for waging a flawed, secretive impeachment investigation that shut out his allies.
Trump has tested nearly a dozen messages since the inquiry into whether he pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens began in September with mixed results. Some have been proved false, some have been dismissed as ineffective and still others have been forgotten as he careens from one message to another.
Now, as the investigation moves into a critical new phase with public hearings beginning Wednesday, frustrated allies are urging Trump to stop talking about himself and focus on his army of supporters. They want the president to hammer Democrats for trying to subvert the will of the voters in 2016, depriving the country of Trump’s strong economy and America First foreign policy.
“What it does is go to the broader argument: Partisan Democrats are trying to undo an American election,” said a former Trump adviser who remains close to the White House. “It’s ‘us against them’ instead of ‘him against the world.’”
In interviews, half a dozen Trump allies said they were confident Democrats won’t have the votes to remove him from office — but they say the president’s failure to push a broad and easy-to-digest message that could galvanize his supporters is hurting him in what is expected to be a tight reelection race.
Those allies, including people who advise him on strategy, said Trump, a businessman and reality TV star, needs to invoke the massive movement he launched as he unexpectedly won in 2016.