At his rallies, President Donald Trump argues that the midterms are about one person — Donald Trump. “Get out in 2018,” Trump told a crowd in Missouri last month, “because you’re voting for me!” Privately, the president says the exact opposite.
According to two people familiar with the conversations, Trump is distancing himself from a potential Republican thumping on Election Day. He’s telling confidants that he doesn’t see the midterms as a referendum on himself, describing his 2020 reelection bid as “the real election.”
And he says that he holds House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responsible for protecting their congressional majorities. According to one person with knowledge of these talks, Trump has said of Ryan and McConnell: “These are their elections … and if they screw it up, it’s not my fault.”