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Published on October 22, 2020 6:33 AM

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My Wild 2 Weeks Inside the Trump Campaign Bubble
LAS VEGAS — Monday was a day of rage for Donald Trump.

He woke up at his Las Vegas hotel, a gold brick of glass on the edge of the Strip next to an abandoned lot, and was already in a foul mood. The previous day he had seen a TV ad that accused him of belittling American soldiers. "Losers. Suckers. Dopes. Babies," the ad said. "That's how Donald Trump describes our men and women in uniform." He had railed about it at a rally in Carson City — "a horrible, vicious ad!" — and it was still infuriating him later that morning. After seeing the ad, he screamed, "I blew my stack!"

Normally, Trump would be thrilled to wake up in a suite in a tower with his name on it. But on this day it seemed to do little to improve his mood. Just being in Nevada was a reminder of his troubles. He had lost the state in 2016 and the polls weren't very encouraging this time around, either. The newest outrage was a New York Times story about low morale in his campaign. He phoned into a conference call for the press with his campaign manager Bill Stepien and spoke in a stream of consciousness for nearly half an hour.

Most of the time, when a candidate gathers staff to buck them up after some bad news, they inspire their supporters, praising them for all of their hard work and thanking them for their sacrifice. Trump handled the assignment differently.

Speaking slowly with his raspy morning voice, Trump stared with his anger at the story in the paper. "You know they're sick, actually, they're deranged people," he said. "Let me give you the real truth. They know this, too, by the way. We're going to win!" But he soon meandered his way through more than a dozen other topics on his mind.

There were a lot of wild moments. He called Anthony Fauci an "idiot." (Afterwards he added in a tweet, "Tony threw out perhaps the worst first pitch in the history of Baseball!") He said members of the press are "mentally ill." He said Democrats have dominated early voting in Michigan "for years and centuries."

He compared the reception he received during his drive to a California fundraiser to the Manhattan ticker tape parade thrown for Charles Lindbergh in 1927. He told a story of how in 2016 the Washington Post ...