Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has predicted privately that Democratic nominee Joe Biden will defeat President Donald Trump in the presidential election in a landslide victory, the Daily Beast reported Thursday.
The Australian-born billionaire who has been an influential supporter of the President in the past has remarked to close associates that Trump is his own worst enemy, according to the Daily Beast. Murdoch suggested to at least three Daily Beast sources that Trump has handled the COVID-19 pandemic poorly and ignored advice on how to better manage it, which has created a never-ending crisis for his administration.
Murdoch declined to comment directly when asked by the publication about the remarks attributed to him by associates — saying “No comment except I’ve never called Trump an idiot.”
Murdoch’s silence is perhaps unsurprising as a number of his publications have worked hard in recent weeks at boosting Trump even amid Murdoch’s quiet projections of Trump’s failure.
Murdoch has appeared to enjoy unhindered access to the White House, but has not spoken with Trump lately — at least for several weeks, sources confided to the Daily Beast — after Murdoch grew tired of Trump’s unending grievances about negative coverage from Fox News.
Murdoch has griped about Trump in the past, suggesting in a tweet ahead of the 2016 presidential election that then-candidate Donald Trump had been “embarrassing his friends and “the whole country.”
A Murdoch executive told the Daily Beast that Murdoch grew increasingly frustrated with Trump last winter, and at that time had even considered backing then-Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, whom he had pushed for a presidential run four years prior.
“With Trump becoming very serious candidate, it’s time for next billionaire candidate, Mike Bloomberg to step into ring. Greatest mayor,” he wrote in a tweet in August 2015. The New York Post, one of Murdoch’s papers, ultimately endorsed Trump in the primary, but did not officially weigh in when Trump went head to head with then-Demcratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Following Bloomberg’s failed bid for the Democratic ticket this year, one Murdoch associate told the Daily Beast that the media mogul is convinced the nation’s next president will be Biden.
This isn’t the first time Murdoch has predicted a declarative Democratic victory.
Ahead of the 2008 presidential election, Murdoch said that if then-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama could overcome the hurdle of race he would likely win the election, telling two Wall Street Journal reporters at the time, “it looks like he overcomes that, overcomes that totally.”