President Donald Trump had a private meeting Monday with close advisors at the White House to discuss a wide range of topics, including the 2020 presidential election — and concerns about possibly facing former Vice President Joe Biden, CNBC has learned.
At the meeting, the president seemed to indicate to some of his confidants that he is concerned about the prospect of facing Biden, according to one person who attended the gathering and declined to be named. In particular, Trump asked whether he should be concerned about Biden potentially capturing the Democratic nomination, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Trump had reportedly expressed concern during the 2018 midterm campaign about potentially facing Biden, although the president has said publicly that he isn't worried.
The advisors told Trump that they're not convinced Biden would appeal to the Democratic Party's left wing or make it through a primary. They also told the president they believe Biden's opponents will say he's out of touch with the base of his own party. Biden, who leads in several primary polls of Democratic voters, has said that he's in the "final stages" of deciding whether he will run for president.
When asked why the president spoke about Biden, one of the people with knowledge of the gathering told CNBC that the former vice president "is the least crazy out of all" the potential Democratic 2020 candidates. This person pointed to Biden's more moderate viewpoints compared with those of other Democrats running or considering entering the race.
Another person familiar with the exchange brushed it off saying "no conclusions were reached," and that Trump is "gonna win in 2020 regardless."