WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump bristled Wednesday at a report that his reelection campaign's internal polling shows him trailing Democrat Joe Biden in several key states, and he claimed without evidence that those polls actually show him leading in every state his campaign has surveyed.
"We have great internal polling," Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with visiting Polish President Polish President Andrzej Duda. "We are winning in every single state that we polled."
Recent public polling has shown Trump trailing the former vice president by as much as double digits in some battleground states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania. And a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this week showed Trump trailing six 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls in national matchups. Biden's lead was the largest, at 13 percentage points.
A Trump campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request to provide evidence to back up Trump's claim.
Trump in recent days has lashed out at The New York Times in the wake of a report that he was briefed on a 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, that showed him trailing Biden in many of the states he needed to win in 2020.
Trump instructed aides to deny the results of the campaign's internal polling and say publicly that other data showed him doing well, according to the Times report.
On Wednesday, Trump characterized the Times story as "fake news" during his Oval Office meeting.
"It's made up by the newspapers," he said.
Trump added that his campaign actually does little polling. "You need ideas more than polls," he said.
Earlier in the day, Trump addressed the issue on Twitter.
"The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign which, by the way and despite the phony and never ending Witch Hunt, are the best numbers WE have ever had," he asserted.
The "Witch Hunt" was a reference to the investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election interference in 2016. Trump has argued that if the investigation had not occurred, his approval numbers would be significantly higher.
This article was written by John Wagner, a reporter for The Washington Post.