In a private document that was circulated over the weekend and obtained by The Washington Post, Trump campaign senior adviser Barry Bennett revealed the mounting frustrations among the billionaire’s top aides as they closed what had been a tumultuous week.
Entitled “Digging through the Bull [expletive],” Bennett’s memo urged Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — who was charged with battery last week for allegedly yanking a reporter — and others to ignore critics who have questioned whether Trump’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has waned.
“America is sick of them. Their idiotic attacks just remind voters why they hate the Washington Establishment,” Bennett wrote, citing tracking poll data favorable to Trump.
“Donald Trump 1,” Bennett declared, as if he was scoring the past week. “Washington Establishment/Media 0.”
Bennett, a frequent presence on television, also lashed out at political opponents for having "scurried" onto the cable-news airwaves to offer at times scathing critiques of the Trump campaign, whether it was over its delegate-accumulation strategy or Trump's ability to win a general election.
Bennett described what he saw as a flurry of negative commentary as something almost conspiratorial, saying “the media themselves couldn’t wait to label the week, ‘THE WORST WEEK EVER.’”
“Yet another pathetic display by the so called experts who line their pockets at the expense of our candidates and causes,” Bennett wrote.
The “internal campaign memorandum,” addressed to “Corey and Team,” was given to the Post by a Republican familiar with the campaign who requested anonymity to pass on a communication from within Trump’s inner circle.
When reached by phone, Bennett confirmed that he wrote the memo and sent it to his colleagues in the campaign.
“Personally, it’s been a very hard time. You’ve got Republicans in Washington saying they’re keeping lists of people who work for Mr. Trump, who say you’ll never work in this town again,” Bennett said in a brief interview. “My point is that people should be pumped that the establishment is spinning.”
When asked whether his ire was directed more at the national media or the GOP’s establishment wing, Bennett said, “Both.”
“All of that is the establishment,” Bennett said. “The press is printing the narrative that the Republican establishment is setting. What’s necessary — what I’m saying here — is that we can’t let that influence how we see ourselves.”
A veteran of Republican campaigns, Bennett previously served as campaign manager for former Trump rival Ben Carson and made his way into Trump’s orbit in late January.
Speaking Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump dismissed the notion that he endured one of the worst weeks yet in his campaign, following not only Lewandowski’s battery charge but controversies over his comments on abortion and nuclear power.
"I don't know that it's been the worst week of my campaign," Trump said. "I think I've had many bad weeks and I've had many good weeks. I don't see this as the worst week in my campaign."