Still can’t take this turd and polish it enough to make it into anything other than a turd.
When the firestorm of James Comey’s firing broke out this week, you can bet it didn’t go in the direction Donald Trump had hoped.
I’m sure he was hoping it would make him look decisive and bold.
Nope. He took somebody that both sides of the aisle had beef with and managed to turn him into a sympathetic character.
Trump actually stepped all over his own message, as well as undermined the message of his administration officials and Vice President Pence, by turning the focus off of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.
The original message was that they had recommended Comey’s firing, based on how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server last year.
We know that’s a lie, since Trump could have let him go the moment he was sworn into office as president, but he didn’t.
Trump later came out and said in an NBC interview that he’d already planned to fire Comey, based on Comey’s involvement with the Russia investigation.
Sources have said that Trump was miffed that Comey was spending more time on that, and that he didn’t back up Trump’s claims of having been wiretapped by former President Obama.
Trump only gave his communications team an hour to work up their talking points about the firing before taking the news to the world.
THEN he changed the narrative, which put his press team in an uneasy position when it came time to face the press for a briefing.
After they struggled to bring clarity to what the background to Comey’s firing consisted of, Trump raged, lashing out on Twitter and suggesting that he would shut down press briefings.
“As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!” Trump tweeted.
He suggested the idea again later Friday, telling Fox News in an interview, “We don’t have press conferences, we just don’t have them, unless I have them every two weeks and I do them myself.”
Basically, no one in Trump’s administration is equipped to deal with his unpredictable mental state.
While the press and most freedom minded Americans are just dumbstruck over the suggestion, those who have vested interests in being loyal Trump party stooges couldn’t wait to praise their liege for his “bold” stand against the media.
Former House Speaker and current Trump toady appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Friday night to promote the idea.
“Donald Trump is not the chief entertainer of the United States. He’s not the chief wrestling match with the elite media. He is the president of the United States,” Gingrich told host Sean Hannity on Friday night.
Coincidentally, Trump has had a long career as a reality TV entertainer, and the only reason many knew who he was before he announced his run for the presidency was because he appeared in several WWE wrestling events.
Gingrich said Trump should treat news media as “dishonest opponents pretending to be reporters.”
“What they ought to do is get out of all this junk, they ought to focus on the big goals, they ought to report to the nation on the big goals, ignore all these reporters, close down the press room, send the reporters off [to Starbucks],” Gingrich said on Fox News’s “Hannity.”
“Maybe say to the American people – send in your questions, we’ll take the best five questions and we’ll answer them by name.”
It’s not a bad idea to answer questions directly from the people, but if that’s all there is, how is there any interaction?
The job of the press is to dig, interact, find answers. You wouldn’t have that with what Gingrich is suggesting. It would just be propaganda. Trump or his people choose the questions, answer them as they like, and nobody gets to follow up.
To that point:
The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) on Friday pushed back on Trump’s threat to cancel future White House briefings, noting that “White House briefings and press conferences provide substantive and symbolic opportunities for journalists to pose questions to officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government.”
“Doing away with briefings would reduce accountability, transparency, and the opportunity for Americans to see that, in the U.S. system, no political figure is above being questioned,” WHCA President Jeff Mason, a correspondent for Reuters, said in a statement. “The White House Correspondents’ Association would object to any move that would threaten those constitutionally-protected principles.”
And they’re right.
If Trump really wants to cut off the press, fine, but then he pretty much loses the right to object when they just write whatever they want, since he’s not allowing any back and forth.