Just ahead of officially kicking off his re-election campaign in Orlando, President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that he is polling ahead of the “Motley Crew” of 2020 Democratic hopefuls despite his own polling showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key states and some national polls.

After internal polling information was leaked showing the president trailing Biden, Trump initially denied the existence of such polls and later fired three longtime pollsters, including Brett Loyd, President and CEO of the Polling Company, a public opinion firm started in 1995 by Kellyanne Conway, a White House confidante. 

Trump tweeted early Monday that only fake polls show him behind “the Motley Crew,” adding it’s too early to be focused on polls when the election is still more than 16 months away.

The tweet comes one day after Trump parted ways with the pollsters who showed he was trailing Biden in key battleground states in the 17-state survey.

Trump said last week that his campaign was "winning in every single state that we’ve polled," denying the existence of "phony polls" suggesting otherwise.

However, Brad Parscale, the president’s 2020 campaign manager, confirmed the existence of damaging polling data last week to ABC News after it obtained a copy of the internal polling results. He added the leaked figures were “ancient” in campaign terms.

After polls showed Trump was trailing Biden and other Democratic frontrunners, the president said he didn’t put much stock in polling, but still asked staff to deny the unfavorable numbers, according to the New York Times.

In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton polled well against Trump right up to the election, when Trump was able to carry Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan to clinch an Electoral College win, the fifth time in U.S. history a president was elected without winning the popular vote.