Where Things Stand: You Know He’s In The Doghouse

This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 28: Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, walks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union on February 28, 2020 in National Harbor, MD. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brad Parscale
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 28: Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, walks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservat... NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 28: Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, walks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union on February 28, 2020 in National Harbor, MD. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 30, 2020 12:47 p.m.

Three different outlets published their own version of the same story: President Trump is not happy with his campaign manager Brad Parscale.

In what has been a described as profanity-laced phone call by the Washington Post, Trump erupted at his campaign manager over recent indications he may be slipping behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls as his administration’s ongoing botched handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. escalated with disinfectant-gate last week. Trump reportedly was so frustrated with Parscale, who is clearly not in charge of how Trump polls publicly, he even threatened to sue him, according to CNN.

While we haven’t been able to confirm the contents of this specific phone call ourselves, Trump gave the world an assessment of his campaign manager via Twitter, calling the reports “fake news” and praising Parscale for “doing a great job.”

I’ve said this before — you can’t deny the pattern here. When Trump turns to Twitter or the camera or the mic to defend a staffer, it often means he or she is not long for the Trump world.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following today:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Kate Riga is following up on the unfolding mess in Michigan as the emergency stay-at-home order expires.

Tierney Sneed is looking into the latest Michael Flynn drama. Trump has repeatedly attacked the media and his own FBI in recent days for the handling of the case against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

The 2020 polls aren’t looking too good for Trump, prompting him to go with a head-scratching: “I don’t believe the polls,” Trump said during an interview Wednesday. “I believe the people of this country are smart. And I don’t think that they will put a man in who’s incompetent.” We’ll keep an eye on these polling numbers.

It’s not often you see Fox News hosts clashing with each other nor one of the hosts actually defending states’ stay-at-home orders instead of parroting Trump’s push to end them. Yet somehow both things happened on Thursday morning when “Fox and Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt shut down fellow host Brian Kilmeade as he was complaining about social distancing measures.

If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This

Matt Shuham reports on the two doctors and urgent care center owners who have been appearing regularly on Fox News to call for an end to California’s shelter-in-place order. Their arguments have been widely dismissed by the medical community, but the network continues to give them frequent air time.

Earlier coverage of COVID-19 and right-wing misinformation:

Today’s Rundown

11:00 a.m. ET: Trump met with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in the Oval Office.

4:00 p.m. ET: Trump will give remarks from the East Room on protecting senior citizens amid the outbreak.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Medical Community Calls Out Fox News’ Favorite New Contrarian Docs — Matt Shuham

What We Are Reading

Trump Erupts At Campaign Manager As Reelection Stress Overflows — Jeremy Diamond

Wealth, Shown To Scale — Matt Korostoff

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