Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 5:09 AM ET, Wed June 17, 2020
(CNN)There’s a common motivation in the White House’s attempt to suppress John Bolton’s book and its state of denial over alarming new trends in the coronavirus pandemic: President Donald Trump doesn’t want Americans to see information that could harm him or the narrative he has constructed.
The former national security adviser’s behind-the-scenes account is expected to portray Trump, who was impeached over an apparent abuse of power in Ukraine and clashed with Bolton over a number of foreign policy issues, in an extremely poor light.
And increasing signs that the pandemic is becoming more virulent in states that heeded the President’s calls to open the economy — like Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Texas — contradict his claim that the US has prevailed and it’s safe to go back to normal.
“They just don’t want to deal with the reality of it. They’re in denial,” an official familiar with the work of the White House’s coronavirus task force told CNN’s Jim Acosta.
Both dramas have the potential to further dent the President’s reelection campaign, as polls show him behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Bolton is likely to undercut Trump’s chosen image as a strong, dominant global leader and could unleash more Ukraine-style controversies over his behavior in office. A surge in coronavirus cases is meanwhile tarnishing the President’s narrative of the “Great American Comeback” and the economic openings that may be key to his hopes of a second term.