Dana Bash Reports Trump Was ‘Surprised’ When Campaign Advisers Panned His Debate Performance: He Thought ‘He Had a Great Night’


CNN White House correspondent Dana Bash explained that President Donald Trump had no idea that his performance at the first presidential debate on Tuesday had sparked outrage over his incendiary remarks and constant, belligerent interrupting. When his advisers blunty informed him after the event that the consensus, even among Republicans, was that he had not, in fact, “had a great night” as he believed, he was surprised.

During a panel discussion on Anderson Cooper 360 about the inner workings of the Trump campaign in the last 24 hours, Bash reported on the stark disconnect between the president’s own assessment of how he did versus the reality outside of pro-Trump media circles.

“So Dana, you have now reporting about how the president and his team are feeling about the debate,” Cooper noted.

“Well, I’m told from a source familiar with the president’s thinking that in private conversations, he’s insisting that he did well, that he had a great night,” Bash reporter. “When it is suggested to him strongly that he did not have a great night, that he was too aggressive and interrupted too much, that he is surprised to hear that push back.”

Bash went on to say that Trump’s camp feels confident that their candidate will eventually succumb to reality after he spends enough time consuming “his steady diet of cable news.”

“It is going to hit him, likely in the next day or so that he did in fact, interrupt too much, that he did, in fact, have a bad night like everybody around him believes that he did,” Bash said, of her source’s thinking.

When Cooper pointed out that all of Trump’s White House and campaign advisers were still insisting publicly that Trump had won the debate — a claim contradicted by several polls — Bash compared the delayed reaction to one of the most infamous moments of the past year.

“Remember when the — how can you forget — when the president suggested injecting or digesting bleach would help with coronavirus and he couldn’t believe that people actually thought that was a big deal?” Bash said “After a day or two, he got that that was a big embarrassment. That is the analogy.”

Moments later, Cooper asked if Trump’s angry, bombastic style would hurt his election chances.

“Among his supporters, the people supporting him, probably not,” Bash conceded. “Those people he doesn’t need to reach out to, despite evidence to the contrary, if you look at his actions not only over this campaign but the past four years, he’s done very little with few exceptions to reach out beyond his base.”

“What you saw on stage last night was his tweets come to life,” Bash added. “I’ll tell you one person who is familiar with his debate prep, said ‘They prepared him to be aggressive, but not Jason from Friday the 13th,’ and that is the perception of how his performance was. These are people who like him.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: