Trump furious with Matt Drudge for turning against him as impeachment looms: report
According to a report at the Daily Beast, Donald Trump is privately fuming that the Drudge Report has been highlighting stories about his legal problems and administration missteps at a time when he desperately needs support from the highly influential conservative website.
The report notes that the president is an avid follower of Matt Drudge's longtime news aggregation site and has become increasingly frustrated that he is not seeing links to stories praising him -- and has tasked son-in-law Jared Kushner to approach the publisher and fix it.
"As House lawmakers move quickly toward a likely impeachment vote before the year’s end, President Donald Trump has kept a close eye on his conservative media allies—and hasn’t been shy about trashing them for projecting insufficient fealty," the Beast's Asawin Suebsaeng writes. "But it’s been one media outlet in particular that has caught the president’s ire, even though it has so far been spared his Twitter rage: the Drudge Report. Publicly, Trump hasn’t said a peep about the highly popular news aggregator run by right-wing media impresario Matt Drudge. But privately, he has simmered over the critical coverage that the site has run and linked to, with regards to the impeachment proceedings."
According to his reporting, Trump has been dismayed with the headlines on the Drudge Report and has privately expressed, "What’s going on with Drudge?” with two other sources saying the president has complained to other staffers, wondering why the site is “so anti-Trump” lately.
In an attempt to fix the fracture the Drudge Report, which has long been a go-to for conservatives due to its right-wing outlook, the president has asked Kushner to step in.
"In recent weeks, Trump has even asked Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and a top White House official—who has had a friendly relationship with the site’s creator—to 'look into it' and reach out to Drudge, the sources said," the report states. "It is unclear if Kushner has done so. The White House and Drudge did not respond to requests for comment on this story as of press time."
"Due to its huge audience, the site wields massive influence not just in conservative media, but in driving media narratives and political conversation among legacy newspapers and mainstream media publications as well," Suebsaeng writes. "Trump’s private fretting over 'what’s going on' at the Drudge Report isn’t an isolated concern. Numerous others in the president’s orbit—re-election campaign, West Wing, media circles, long-time friends and associates—have noticed the site’s drift, as well. Some have expressed their anxieties about it directly to the president."
The report goes on to note that Trump has held his fire when it comes to attacking Drudge, with Suebsaeng writing, "The fact that the president himself hasn’t yet taken to Twitter to bash Drudge in recent weeks may also have something to do with his general assessment of— and, at times, begrudging respect for—how Drudge operates, according to people who’ve spoken to Trump about the website and its famously reclusive creator."
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