Here’s the Trump situation report for Wednesday morning, Aug. 3, 2016:
— With poll after poll showing a large and growing lead for Hillary Clinton, Trump grumbles that “there’s something phony” going on with pollsters. Oh, and the press is rigged against him. Oh, and if he loses in November, it will be because the entire U.S. election system was rigged against him.
— Oh, and as he tells the Washington Post , unknown forces tried to steal the nomination from him by altering votes in the primaries.
— He suggests to The Post that Kelly Ayotte, Republican senator from New Hampshire, is weak and disloyal. “I’m beating her in the polls by a lot …I’m doing great in New Hampshire. You know, as you saw, I’m eight points up. I’m leading Hillary Clinton by eight points.” Clinton has led in every poll taken in New Hampshire.
— According to NBC, Reince Priebus, head of the RNC, is “apoplectic” at Trump’s refusal to endorse either House Speaker Paul Ryan or U.S. Sen. John McCain, and called Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to express his “extreme displeasure.”
— John Harwood of CNBC reports that the Trump campaign is in total disarray. According to Harwood’s source, “Manafort not challenging (Trump) anymore. Mailing it in. Staff suicidal.”
Trump supporter Newt Gingrich says his candidate is being “very self-destructive” and is throwing his chance away. “There’s always going to be a residual possibility that Trump can win. The question is, can he in August slow down, take a deep breath and reorganize how he’s operating so that he gets to the standard of a potential president of the United States.” The answer to that is big N-O.
— According to ABC News, top Republican officials are exploring what emergency options they would have if Trump decides to say screw it and drops out of the race.
— Trump surrogate Katrina Pierson accuses President Obama of causing the 2004 death of Capt. Humayun Khan by ordering a change in the U.S. military’s rules of engagement in Iraq. At the time of Khan’s death, Obama was an Illinois state senator.
— Retired four-star Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the CIA and National Security Agency and director of national intelligence under President George W. Bush, warns that we could see a major breach in military/civil leadership under Trump. He is the second retired four-star general to issue that warning in a week.
— Hayden concludes that Trump is too erratic to be trusted as commander in chief. “Inconsistency, unpredictability — those are dangerous things,” Hayden says on “Morning Joe”. “They frighten your friends and tempt your enemies. So I would be very, VERY concerned.”
— Following Hayden’s statement, “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough drops a bomb of his own by alleging that in a briefing with a top foreign-policy expert several months ago, Donald Trump asked three separate times why we couldn’t use nuclear weapons to solve whatever problem was under discussion.
— Trump said the same thing publicly back in March, suggesting for example that we could use nuclear weapons against ISIS.
— Meanwhile, Trump brags that he knows “far more” about foreign policy than Obama. He also says that he regrets nothing that he has said or done in his ongoing confrontation with Khizr Khan. And he’s up bright and early, spreading good cheer:
We still have 97 days to go.