the campaign and the runup to POTUS. (Did I get that right?)
I'm old enough to remember "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy, R-Wisc, during the Red Scare of the Fifties. He would take the floor saying, 'I have in my hand a list of [so many] members of the Communist Party who have [various] high positions in the US Government...' No one ever saw the list or heard the names. Of course there was no such list, but many careers and lives were ruined. Only lawyer Joseph Welch, cartoonist Walt Kelly and very few other public figures dared to oppose him.
Worse, many ordinary citizens fell in behind his rants, which was Joe's goal and extended the length of the situation. That was at the beginning of the TV era, when people still read newspapers and magazines, and the sound bite hadn't reared its head.
BTW I also saw such things from the Other Side, but she didn't win, so no one pays attention anymore.