The press. Government employees. Non-partisan government agencies helmed by Republicans. All of them are now being portrayed by the administration as unworthy of the public trust, because they put out information damaging to the president.
By wrapping his agenda in radical initiatives, lashing out wildly at his enemies, and generally conducting himself like an adolescent, Trump has provided pundits with scant opportunities to praise him, or to portray him as presidential.
Desperately searching for someone to blame for the generally chaotic start of Trump’s controversy-filled administration, the conservative media are refitting the former Democratic president as an all-powerful gremlin who’s to blame for Trump’s laundry list of political woes.
The allegation by a president of such serious subterfuge against a predecessor is likely unprecedented. The claim has reportedly been denied by the current head of the FBI James Comey, by a spokesperson for Obama, and by Obama’s former intelligence chief James Clapper.
Certainly, we are in a hyper-partisan age. But does that mean partisans set aside every principle they ever held dear and watch democratic norms be destroyed just to protect a president from their party? Are institutional checks and balances meaningless?
Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear issued a formal Democratic response to Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday. But the most blistering reply may have belonged to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who took to Facebook shortly thereafter.
Being silenced by the White House must have been devastating. We are left to wonder if, deprived of video contact with Mika Brzezinski and Jake Tapper, Kellyanne suffered clinical symptoms of withdrawal.
Presidential historians and veteran Washington correspondents say President Donald Trump’s first month in office — which has been marred by numerous scandals and vicious attacks on the press — is more “chaotic” and “bizarre” than any administration’s first month in history.
Trump may bash the traditional media to please his base of die-hards, but the anti-Trump base is a lot bigger — and it’s growing. It’s also affluent. And one way to resist is to buy what Trump condemns. Legacy media are biting back, and that, it turns out, is good both for the news and for business.
If Trump continues to appeal to fear and narrow self-interest rather than forge a vision rooted in shared values and aspirations – as did Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan – his presidency will fail and the country will suffer. Here again he should listen to Lincoln, who appealed to “the better angels of our nature” in the face of secession and imminent war.
Donald Trump’s first solo press conference as president had all the trappings of a perfect late night comedy sketch: bizarre rants about Michael Flynn and Russia, the usual lies about his “huge” electoral victory, and plenty of unhinged moments involving what Trump called “real leaks, fake news, and the dishonest media.”
President Trump’s bizarre press conference on Thursday, which saw the president openly berate the White House press corps and suggest an African American reporter was friends with the Congressional Black Caucus, likely did little to assuage fears about Trump’s erratic behavior. It was, in a word, a mess.
Presidents from both parties have always enjoyed partisan cheerleaders in the press who will defend an administration from attacks and enthusiastically support its agenda. But what the Trump team is trying to assemble is something else entirely. It’s trying to build its own self-sustaining, hermetically sealed information bubble so that Trump, his aides, and his supporters don’t have to acknowledge everyday facts.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. The intercepts alarmed U.S. intelligence because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Trump was speaking glowingly about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they’d read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration. Flynn’s not the first, and he’ll surely be far from the last, to learn that Trump’s insistence upon personal loyalty is a one-way street.
Imagine if Sean Spicer wrote a memoir about his time as press secretary? Oh, the tales he could tell from inside the White House. In only three weeks, he has certainly compiled enough shocking “insider” material for a surefire bestseller.
This current crisis of confidence is about an entire White House philosophy of dishonesty driven by Trump himself. And that certainly includes Trump TV surrogates such as Spicer and Miller, who are quickly amassing resumes built around pushing daily falsehoods. If news producers are avoiding Conway, they should also be pondering the worth of hosting Spicer and Miller.
If Miller’s appearance on the Sunday shows reminded you of the least liked person in high school, that’s probably because not so long ago, he was in fact the least popular student at Santa Monica High School.
How can Americans combat Trump’s lies? John Oliver has a brilliant solution. Because Trump loves cable news so much, Oliver’s show bought ad space during some of the president’s favorite morning programs. Oliver plans to use the space to air ads that detail the basics of issues about which Trump should probably be familiar, like the nuclear triad or the names of his children.
President Trump, who spent 2016 chronically boasting about his ability to spike TV news ratings, clearly falls short of the ratings successes Obama posted early in his presidency. As the least popular new president in modern American history, Trump seems to having trouble connecting with the masses.
Donald Trump lies and reporters fact-check him, then he and his team spin the lies to blame the “biased” and “dishonest” media. Trump’s team wants to create a world where no one knows what to believe, where facts and reality are irrelevant, and all that matters is what Trump says matters.