During a recent interview, several members of President Trump’s 2020 campaign discussed what they believed to be their most prominent hurdle in the upcoming election, and agreed that it was the media, rather than any of the many Democrat candidates.
Erin Perrine, Tim Murtaugh, and Kayleigh McEnany, all top-ranking members of Trump’s communications team, voiced their frustrations with the media, with Murtaugh asserting that the press can be “adversarial” at times.
“The media is our biggest challenge,” said Murtaugh, adding, “It is very frustrating.”
McEnany described dealing with the media as “infuriating,” while Perrine recounted an interview with a journalist she described as “incredibly rude.”
Throughout his 2016 campaign and the duration of his administration, President Trump has maintained a contentious relationship with the mainstream media, and has frequently denounced the press for resoundingly negative coverage.
From The Daily Caller:
President Donald Trump’s campaign is taking stock of his opponents in the 2020 presidential election, but it’s not the Democrats they are worried about.
Instead, senior campaign communications officials say the media is the “biggest obstacle” to the president’s reelection.
During a Daily Caller visit to the official campaign headquarters in Northern Virginia, the officials spoke of their reelection strategy, the messaging on Democratic candidates, and their relative optimism about Trump’s chances in 2020. The Daily Caller wasn’t the first media outlet to take a tour of the HQ — a peek at the organization’s guest book revealed that the campaign had already met with The Hill, NPR, and Fox News, among others.
Despite the communication team’s obvious attempts to establish good working relationships with media outlets, the officials described hostile behavior from some reporters that they believe will hinder their efforts. Tim Murtaugh, the Trump Campaign’s director of communications, Erin Perrine, the deputy communications director, and Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary, all said they routinely feel frustrated when dealing with the media.
“People always ask, ‘what’s your biggest challenge, what’s your biggest obstacle?’” Murtaugh said. “And Kayleigh always says, ‘the media.’ The media is our biggest challenge.”
“It is very frustrating,” he said, referring to at least one outlet as outright “adversarial.”
The three officials shared one encounter with a reporter who visited the headquarters and was muttering negative comments to herself as Perrine was speaking.
“One [reporter] was mumbling under her breath about what I was saying,” Perrine said, with McEnany adding that it was “incredibly rude.”
McEnany shared, “I have balloons in my office that were from my birthday months ago and I kick them around every time I’m on the phone because it’s just infuriating.”
A quick look at the media’s treatment of some of the 2020 Democratic candidate’s campaigns reveals at least the appearance of a double standard. A CNN reporter following Kamala Harris on the trail referred to the California senator’s “rock star reception” and helped her shop for a sequin jacket at one campaign stop.