This morning, Trump told Jonathan Swan from Axios that he has never confronted Vladimir Putin about Russian bounties that were paid to the Taliban to kill American troops, partly because the president doesn’t believe it happened in the first place. But we know from several credible intelligence reports that the president was briefed on the Russian bounties months ago. On today’s episode, Steve reminds us, “It’s been weeks since this was first reported, it’s been months since this was first briefed, and the president of the United States is officially silent on the fact that Russians are trying to kill our troops in Afghanistan.”
In other news, a fledgling theory has taken hold among Trump’s staunchest acolytes: that the president is falling behind in the polls because cancel culture has made MAGA supporters afraid to publicly profess their support for the president. But are there enough SMAGA supporters to sufficiently account for Biden’s double digit lead in the polls? Jonah suggests that this “silent majority” rhetoric has simply become a coping mechanism for the GOP to keep Trump from losing his mind. Tune in to today’s episode to hear our Dispatch podcasters discuss the Burn It All Down Wars, Biden’s veepstakes, and what they’re all reading at the moment.
-Axios interview with Jonathan Swan and Donald Trump.