President Donald Trump is stuck between a rock and a hard place as he struggles to find a response to the crises facing America.
"With less than five months before voters head to the polls, President Trump finds himself in an uncertain position: caught between advisers urging him to calm a country in the grips of a pandemic, economic uncertainty and civil unrest, and those who want him to lean into aggressive tactics that almost certainly would further inflame a nation on edge," according to a new report from NBC News.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed protesters by telling aides "these aren't my voters."
"The president's approach to what's widely seen as a seminal moment for the country reflects his ambivalence about being anything other than a self-styled 'president of law and order' and his stubborn adherence to tactics he believes have served him well politically, advisers inside and outside the White House say," NBC News reported. "Some of those who spoke to NBC News about their confidential discussions with the president say they think Trump should be leading on changes in policing and race that even members of his own party are embracing, rather than undermining them. Others say the president is not fighting back hard enough, and is instead allowing protesters to drive his agenda."
NBC News gave anonymity to one political advisor.
"It looks like he's bewildered right now," the political adviser. "We're losing the culture war because we won't engage directly, because we're so scared to be called racist."
"This adviser said the president and his allies should be taking on the Black Lives Matter movement by calling it a 'front organization for a lot of crazy leftist ideas that are unpopular.' But another political ally said the opposite — that the president appears to be 'spinning wheels' because he's not setting the agenda on policing and race in the U.S. when he 'should be leading on these issues' by taking steps like banning tactics like chokehold," NBC News reported.
Read the full report.