President Donald Trump is methodically building a 2020 reelection campaign machine, shunting aside doubts about his viability for a second term as controversy consumes the early months of his administration.
Trump is mapping out a fall fundraising tour that is expected to fill his campaign bank account with tens of millions of dollars. His team has tracked dozens of potential Democratic rivals, a list of names that ranges from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And his administration has received political advice from a top campaign pollster from his 2016 campaign, who has urged the president to keep up his attacks on the mainstream media.
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On Tuesday, Trump heads to the swing state of Arizona for a campaign-style rally organized by his political operation.
The preparations, described by 10 people — White House staffers, Republican National Committee officials and Trump campaign aides —come at a perilous time for the president, who has seen his approval rating plummet to historic lows and is facing mounting criticism from senior Republicans. Trump is under fire for going easy on white supremacists and has failed to sign a major piece of legislation, while a special counsel is bearing down on his campaign’s dealings with Russia. His chief strategist and main conduit to the activist right, Steve Bannon, left the White House on Friday, and Trump’s advisers say the president is increasingly isolated from his own party.
Yet Trump’s team — rankled by reports that other Republicans are…
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