“Did you hear the news?” the president asked the hopeful crowd. “Bruce Ohr is finally out of the Department of Justice.”

There were scattered cheers in the crowd as the president then detailed the fate of a mostly forgotten, minor figure in the Russia probe that feels like a lifetime of news cycles ago.

That moment Wednesday in Iowa, a state Trump won comfortably four years ago but is now seen as competitive, underscored a fundamental challenge facing his reelection campaign: It’s not 2016.

The president’s attempts to recycle attacks he used on Hillary Clinton that year have so far failed to effectively damage Democrat Joe Biden. And Trump has found himself dwelling more and more in the conservative media echo chamber, talking to an increasingly smaller portion of the electorate.