Oops, they said the quiet part loud again.
President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers are saying openly that his rally in New Hampshire Monday night wasn’t just counterprogramming to the Democratic primary in the key swing state.
They also hoped that the Secret Service restrictions accompanying his Manchester rally would clog up the state’s biggest city on the eve of the Democratic primary, hampering candidates and voters from getting around.
Here’s what unnamed campaign officials confessed to the Associated Press:
The side benefit of logistical sabotage came as Trump tried to take the wind out of Democrats’ sails hours before the first votes were cast with a ticketed campaign event billed as a “Keep America Great Rally.”
It’s not clear whether the Secret Service restrictions usually imposed on a presidential appearance disrupted Democratic campaign activities.
The President wasn’t above engaging in some gamesmanship himself, encouraging his independent supporters to vote for the “weakest” Democrat on Tuesday, as “undeclared” voters can vote in either party’s primary. In recent weeks, the Trump campaign has sought to bolster the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who they see as the easiest for Trump to beat in a general election.
Trump surrogates including Vice President Mike Pence, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) have flooded the Granite State to campaign on his behalf.
New Hampshire holds a special place in Trump’s heart as the first Republican primary he won in 2016. Though he narrowly lost the state in the general election, his team is hoping to flip it this time around, per the AP.