Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign stop at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Oct. 21, 2016 in Johnstown, Pa.
Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC

As voters cast ballots, Trump shares one more conspiracy theory

Donald Trump appeared via phone on Fox News this morning, complaining once again about Beyonce and Jay Z. For those keeping score at home, today is the fifth consecutive day the Republican presidential hopeful publicly complained about the celebrity couple.

The Washington Post’s piece this week about Trump being “obsessed” with the entertainers is starting to look quite accurate.

In the same interview this morning, Trump added, in reference to the election, “If I don’t win, I will consider it a tremendous waste of time, energy, and money” – a complaint he used almost word for word on the campaign trail yesterday. To be sure, this is largely what we’d expect the Republican candidate to be thinking right about now, but it reinforces the impression that Trump’s principal concern remains, above all else, himself.

But the real gem this morning was one last conspiracy theory from the GOP nominee. TPM’s Caitlin MacNeal reported:
Donald Trump, who has a tendency to dismiss polls that show him trailing Hillary Clinton, declared on Tuesday morning that many polls are “phony” during an interview on “Fox and Friends.”

“I do think a lot of polls are purposefully wrong,” he said when asked if some pollsters have incorrectly predicted the level of support Trump has garnered. “I think I can almost tell you by the people that do it. The media is very dishonest, extremely dishonest, and I think a lot of polls are phony. I don’t think they interview people. I think they just put out phony numbers.”
Yes, Trump has complained about polls before, but before this morning, I don’t recall him accusing news organizations of just making up numbers out of thin air – putting out “phony” results without actually calling survey respondents.

In fact, one of the more entertaining aspects of the last year has been Trump’s Gollum-like approach to polls as the campaign unfolded.

When Trump was ahead in the race for the Republican nomination, he loved the polls.

When Trump started off trailing in the general election, he hated the polls.

When Trump pulled ahead around the time of the Republican convention, he loved the polls.

When Trump lost that lead, he hated the polls.

When Trump started narrowing the gap in October, he loved the polls.

When Election Day arrived and Trump was still behind, he hated the polls.

It offers an interesting peek into how the Republican nominee perceives public attitudes: he starts with the assumption that he’s both correct and popular, then evaluates polling accordingly. When the survey results look encouraging, he says, in effect, “See? I’m doing great.” When the polls look discouraging, the response becomes, “See? Nefarious forces are conspiring against me as part of a corrupt and ‘rigged’ system.”

Donald J. Trump can never be wrong; he can only be wronged.