President Donald Trump pointed a finger at his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, stating that it “would be his fault” if the 2020 presidential election did not go well for the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed top aides at the Oval Office.
“You’re killing me! This whole thing is! We’ve got all the damn cases,” Trump reportedly yelled at Kushner during the August 19 meeting at the Oval Office. “I want to do what Mexico does. They don’t give you a test till you get to the emergency room and you’re vomiting.”
Trump became furious after his primary pollster, Tony Fabrizio, reported during the meeting that mask-wearing was acceptable “even among Mr. Trump’s supporters”.
Fabrizio’s observation was reportedly supported by Kushner, who called embracing mask-wearing a “no-brainer”, arguing that masks could be presented as a way to regain freedom to attend sporting events, restaurants, or other public places.
The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, objected, however, saying that “the base will revolt”. Meadows’ word appeared to be decisive, according to the report, as Trump then said that he was “not doing a mask mandate”.
“I’m going to lose,” Trump told Kushner during debate preparations. “And it’s going to be your fault, because of the testing.”
The outcome of the presidential election saw him lose to Democratic candidate Joe Biden, both in the popular and in the Electoral College vote. Biden has been a vocal advocate of mask-wearing, noting that he would ask Americans to wear masks during the first 100 days of his presidency.