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Cracks open in Fortress Trump as he retreats to bolster his core base

As he presides over a nation in turmoil, Donald Trump faces an electoral challenge he never expected

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‘In the midst of chaos, Biden must present himself as the antidote to Trump’. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

‘In the midst of chaos, Biden must present himself as the antidote to Trump’. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

‘In the midst of chaos, Biden must present himself as the antidote to Trump’. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

In the last 72 hours, the White House has been turned into a fortress. Newly erected nine-foot high fencing has given the US presidential residence the threatening look of a military compound. Outside the gates mayhem reigns with protests in every state.

Wounds older than the US civil war were torn wide open by George Floyd's death - gashes that never truly healed but were simply plastered over. Donald Trump's response to the anger on the streets - including one bizarre claim that Floyd would hopefully be "looking down" saying "this is a great thing that's happening to our country" - has made the situation significantly worse, for the nation and himself.

Up until last week, Trump's control over the Republican party was assured. With few exceptions, the party establishment has been fully supportive of, and therefore complicit with, his actions.