Sources told CNN that the president had been angry for days over internal polls revealed to the media last week, which showed him defeated by Democrats, including Joe Biden, in states like Michigan and Wisconsin.
The Trump campaign has publicly rejected data that it believes date back several weeks and do not reflect the current situation, especially after the conclusion of the investigation into the Mueller case.
But privately, a person familiar with the situation told CNN that the layoffs had less to do with the quality of the investigators' work than to appease the president.
Trump fulminates generally against polls that show him doing poorly while seeking other choices, which, though doubtful, seem to show him in a more favorable political stance.
But the latest campaign plot could pave the way for some of the potential uncertainties and weaknesses surrounding Trump's re-election campaign as he plans to strengthen it.
Any decline in the president's popularity in the midwestern blue-collar center would trigger alarms inside his camp – given his relatively narrow path to re-election.
Anyone among the more than 20 Democrats will report to the president should be prepared for a man who is able to attack his rivals, as evidenced by the campaigns of 2016 and throughout his presidency.
"He recalibrated everything," Trump told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos. "All that he said, he is picked up two weeks later because he is slamming to the left."
The signs that Biden – the Democratic favorite – is a serious threat would play more in Trump's mind on a subject on which he has spent a lot of time suffering, sources said.
The leaked polls could have a double electoral consequence in that they seem to reinforce the central argument of Biden's election campaign that he is the Democrat most likely to send Trump in 2020.
But more fundamentally, a candidate who can not bear to know the truth about his own campaign is not a candidate who can be considered to be in a strong position on the eve of his official launch, or who can easily make tactical adjustments. to all successful re-election offers. .
The campaign that never ended
Early polls do not always determine the course of a race. And the other first term presidents often seemed more vulnerable than they were after months on the track.
Outgoing Presidents – especially those running a strong economy like Trump – have always had a definite advantage in running for a second term.
And few politicians are as good at defining and gutting a campaign enemy as Trump. So, in many ways, the 2020 race will not start until there is no Democratic candidate.
Still, the president can not claim, as an excuse for polling figures, troubling, the usual argument of the outgoing president, who asserted that he was so busy governing that he did not want to. There was no time for politics.
In fact, its launch rally in Orlando on Tuesday night should feature a large crowd including Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Melania Trump, which could well be the most extravagant campaign launch in US political history .
Not only has Trump not stopped running after his incredible victory in the 2016 election, but he has devoted himself almost every day since to defending the legitimacy of his presidency and his positioning for re-election.
Make your message
In thousands of tweets, dozens of rallies, multiple speeches and friendly TV interviews, Trump celebrated his triumph in 2016 and obsessively cultivated his political base.
He spent the weekend setting the tone for his re-election campaign, demolishing the Democrats, investigating Russia, the media, bragging the wall of his border and warning of a national disaster. he was losing.
In a tweet, the president praised the fact that the economy was breaking records and still has a long way to go … ", generally reinforcing the reality by exploiting his best argument in favor of re-election.
"If someone else took over in 2020 (I know the competition very well), there would be a stock market crash like we've never seen before! KEEP GREAT AMERICA, he wrote.
Trump has generally sought refuge in friendly interviews within the conservative media machine in recent months. The ABC interview seemed to be an attempt to engage a wider audience. But the plan may have turned against him because he published unflattering headlines for the president as individual excerpts were published.
Trump's tweets offer a succinct introduction to his re-election strategy that will likely be explained on Tuesday: make exaggerated claims for his own success, tear down the cultural and social divides that helped him gain power and fuel the anger against those whom he defines as political enemies.
His rhetoric of recent weeks also suggests that Trump will argue in favor of the Republicans who had backed him in 2016, saying he had worked tirelessly to honor his campaign wishes and had turned out to be a factor decisive, despite questionable evidence.
It will highlight the lowest unemployment rate in half a century, government regulations abolished, the ban on travel imposed by its collaborators, ensured the safety of Americans, the removal of a key mandate of 39; Obamacare and the increase in defense spending of NATO members.
Gather base in battlefield states
It is unlikely that Washington is thinking of the hustle and bustle of its election campaign polling station among the crowds of Trump's extremely loyal political base – particularly in Florida, where he drew a huge turnout in 2016, particularly in the northwestern region of the panhandle.
But the decision to start there rather than in its Midwest bastion reminds that the Sunshine State will be vital if 2020 is even closer than 2016 if some of its battlefields in the heart of the country returned to Democratic control.
Until now, the entire Trump presidency has been a bet that the fiercely loyal base voters who helped him win in 2016 will do so again against an unnamed Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The Trump / Pence 2020 theory, initiated during unusual election rallies during the presidential transition, has scorned to broaden its base in favor of retaining voters who idolize themselves motivated and sufficiently angry to allow them to return massively to polling stations.
The 17-month race on polling day Trump will do a glimpse in Florida Tuesday night will test whether this strategy is a wise bet on a more polarized country than in previous decades.
Or it might reveal that Trump's tumultuous presidency not only managed to electrify his base – but triggered a democratic reaction that could send him home to New York.
That's why the survey data leaked in the Trump campaign – whether they reflect or not the current state of the field race – could be a sign of early danger for Trump in 2020.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny, Jeremy Diamond and Sarah Westwood contributed to this report.