In Trump’s orbit and Republican circles, there is growing unease and even panic over Trump’s conduct as allies fret that the president, who lags behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in both public and private polling, is free-falling into a political abyss.

Republicans have long accustomed themselves to the mayhem that seems to accompany Trump everywhere, like a personal tornado cloud. They are not deserting him, and they acknowledge that supporting the president means at least tacitly condoning his more incendiary comments and actions…

“The whole world has changed in the past six months, and I don’t know if the president has caught up,” said Amy Koch, a Republican and former majority leader of the Minnesota Senate. “His messaging is landing on deaf ears. He just doesn’t seem to fully understand what people are talking about or worrying about.”…

“It’s all these other erratic and bizarre comments and behaviors that are causing the most heartburn for a lot of Republicans, by far,” Dent said. “I don’t think any Republican member of Congress wants to stand up there and defend the Confederacy, which makes absolutely no sense, or go to war with Tony Fauci.”