Donald Trump couldn’t sleep.
It was afternoon in Washington when Larry Kudlow’s cell phone buzzed; it was the middle of the night where the call was coming from. But that didn’t matter to Kudlow, a former CNBC presence now working as a White House economic adviser, for this wasn’t the first call he’d received from the same man halfway around the globe.
The sun would not rise for several hours in India, but President Trump hadn’t slept, pacing in his palatial New Delhi hotel suite. He was battling some jet lag, to be sure, but he wasn’t awake because of that, or because he was still charged up from the 110,000-person rally he had held at the world’s largest cricket stadium or the majestic tour he had received of the Taj Mahal.
The president didn’t know it yet, but he was embarking on one of the most consequential weeks of his term. At the beginning of the week, he had believed that he would be running for reelection on the back of a strong economy while facing socialist Bernie Sanders. By the end of that week, neither was true.
In the months to come, it would become clear that for the first time in his political life, Trump’s lies weren’t going to save him. And it just so happened to be in an election year.