This is what comes from electing someone emotionally and intellectually incapable of seeing beyond his own emotional needs or understanding the moral authority a normal president enjoys by fulfilling the role of head of state. Trump’s lack of decency, civility and respect for others’ accomplishments prompt him to attack Americans (especially minorities) who disagree with him; in turn, Trump’s conduct provokes honorable people to shun the president. A man such as Trump, who is so consumed with his own social media popularity, so willing to bludgeon companies (including media companies) that don’t pay homage, and so eager to fan divisions by pitting his followers against their fellow Americans, cannot “rise to the occasion,” especially when it means honoring someone else. He cannot function in a role that requires largeness of spirit, graciousness and good manners.
Trump’s antagonism toward liberal elites, the arm-chair psychiatrists tell us, is rooted in the Queens-born heir of a real estate mogul never being accepted by polite Manhattan society. He was crude and uncouth then just as he is crude and uncouth now. He sought the attention of the New York press, as he desperately does now (while excoriating the New York Times for “failing”). He could never earn the praise afforded to self-made men so he now feels compelled to lie about his achievements (the wall is being built!) to gain approval from his followers. If he were not such a cruel, self-absorbed and amoral character, one might actually pity him. He frantically pleads for attention in a week in which the nation is absorbed with praise for one of the few Republicans who refused to grovel before him; it must infuriate him.
The ironies do not stop there. The man who spent most of his adult life trying to convince New Yorkers that he was richer and more successful than he was, now faces a probe, with evidence provided by his former lawyer Michael Cohen and the Trump Organization’s chief finance officer Allen Weisselberg, that threatens to expose his finances and business practices. Trump’s fatally flawed character, temperament and intellect cripple his ability to do the simple tasks every predecessor of his was able to perform. These irreparable shortcomings land him in one humiliating predicament after another — and perhaps ultimately in the arms of prosecutors. Having attained the highest office in the land, he remains the pathetic grasper from Queens with his nose pressed up against the establishment window. It must drive him insane.
After watching Sean Hannity on Fox News, President Trump tweeted at Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate former rival Hillary Clinton. After listening to Tucker Carlson, he directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to launch a study on bogus reports of murdered white farmers in South Africa. And after Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs highlighted a questionable claim about Google search results, Trump took to Twitter early Tuesday to complain — prompting his top economic adviser to promise an investigation. “We’re taking a look at it,” Larry Kudlow told reporters when asked whether the administration thinks Google searches should be regulated. Cable television news hosts and commentators are among the first voices that Trump hears in the morning and the last he listens to at night. Now he is increasingly relying on those voices in making decisions — often running afoul of his actual advisers in the process.
Many of Trump’s Cabinet secretaries and senior advisers have a cable news shadow. Dobbs might be considered Trump’s television treasury secretary, Hannity his chief of staff and Carlson his secretary of state. Fox’s Jeanine Pirro serves as a de facto attorney general, railing against Sessions and the special counsel’s Russia probe, while regular Fox analyst Pete Hegseth was under consideration to be the actual secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Stuart P. Stevens, a Republican political consultant and writer who was Mitt Romney’s senior strategist in the 2012 presidential election campaign, decried Trump’s reliance on the “insane feedback loop of Fox.” “Here’s a guy who has access to the most sophisticated intelligence ever available, that cost billions to produce, that people have died for,” Stevens said. “And he’s relying for his information on something you can buy for like $2.98 a month with your cable subscription.” Trump’s reliance on cable television, and his comfort level with its personalities and priorities, should not surprise anyone, said Stevens, the Republican political consultant. “He consumes information the same way he did when he was not president,” Stevens said. “He relates to the world the way the world relates to him, and it is what it appears to be: a guy sitting around watching television.”
Thursday morning most of the media was focused on the first public memorial service for the late Sen. John McCain. So as the nation was united in paying tribute to McCain, Donald Trump naturally took to his Twitter throne and fired off a series of frighteningly incoherent outbursts at what he regards as “the enemy of the people.” It’s his way of continuing to show contempt for a man that had the audacity to challenge him. The substance of Thursdays’ tweetstorm was typically centered on his aversion to, and fear of, the free press and the Constitution. He began by taking a swipe at a perennial foe, CNN. Trump lashed out at the network’s boss, Jeff Zucker, and called on AT&T to fire him. Think about that. The president of the United States is issuing orders to a private company in order to control their executive management. That’s pretty much the definition of fascism. But Trump didn’t stop there. The next tweet in the tantrum was aimed at NBC and their news anchor, Lester Holt. What Trump said was obviously pulled from the recesses of a deeply disturbed mind. It was based on nothing resembling reality, but it did serve to advance his mission to Make America Stupid Again.
This is a perfect example of Trump disseminating utter bullcrap to his pathetic and glassy-eyed cult followers who will believe anything Dear Leader disgorges. The interview with Holt was not “fudged” in any way, and Trump offers no evidence to support his charge. The entire interview is posted online for all to see. Trump’s sole purpose in hurling this lie is to mitigate the fact that he incriminated himself in that interview. Trump told Holt that he fired FBI director James Comey because of the Russia investigation. So Trump literally confessed to obstruction of justice on national television. Now he’s trying to back out of it by saying the interview was doctored. But everyone knows that he’s making that up out of pure desperation. And by doing so he only makes things worse by being so transparently dishonest and by bringing attention back to his guilt. Even Fox News was taken aback by Trump’s glaringly false allegation.
Trump continued his Twitter tirade with a more generalized attack on what he called the “totally dishonest” media. He said that “Truth doesn’t matter to them,” and that “they only have their hatred & agenda.” This is coming from the man who has been documented as telling more than 4,200 lies since his poorly attended inauguration (which he lied about). And he’s also the man whose whole presidency has been marinated in hate and bigotry. He can’t go a single day without tossing around vicious and infantile insults at anyone he perceives as insufficiently worshipful. Finally (for the time being), Trump circled back around to CNN to reiterate some completely fake allegations about a recent story concerning his troubles with his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, had told CNN that Cohen might tell special counsel Robert Mueller that the President knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting with the Russians before it occurred. Davis later backpedaled and said that he could not actually confirm that. Note that he did not say it wasn’t true, only that he was no longer comfortable with the comment. That’s probably because it could put his client in legal jeopardy because it contradicted what Cohen told Congress.
Subsequently, Trump, Fox News, and other rightist media began accusing CNN of flubbing the story. But they actually got it right. It was Davis who admits that he made a statement that he would no longer stand by. That isn’t CNN’s fault, especially since they also had other sources corroborating their reporting. They continue stand by the story. The fact that Trump would take this time, as the nation is still mourning the passing of John McCain, to trot out his self-serving delusions, is indicative of his utter lack of character and class. He simply isn’t able to allow anyone else to have the spotlight for a day or two. But the ludicrous charge that Lester Holt tampered with the video of his interview shows that Trump will propound any lie, no matter how outrageous and unfounded, to deceive the nation. And that sort of dishonesty has been the hallmark of his tenure so far in the White House.
The fellow who came into office promising a businessman’s sense of the world apparently doesn’t understand: Internet search, like everything else in today’s world, is super-competitive. Should Google sideline important feeds from its search results, it would lose share. So the matter that the president says will be “addressed” is already being addressed. View this particular Trump freakout as the crazed spasm of a man who doesn’t have enough power to satisfy his own narcissism. For years, he has been telling his followers about all the “fake news” from the very outlets that get good traction on Google. The reason they get good traction on Google is that those outlets produce news stories that hold up, that gain adherence on social media, that attract links all over the Internet. This is an organic process that not even the president, with all his tweeting and harrumphing, can interdict. With some exceptions highly touted by Trumpites, the reporting of all these “left” news outlets has nailed down story after irrefutable story about the Trump White House. And it just so happens that the vast majority of those stories are negative. Because: How do you place a positive spin on dissing John McCain? How do you place a positive spin on the conviction of Paul Manafort? How do you place a positive spin on the guilty plea of Michael Cohen? How do you place a positive spin on Trump calling Omarosa Manigault Newman a “low life”? How do you place a positive spin on Helsinki? Come on, Mr. President — you gotta give Google something to work with.
Once again, there was text and subtext, and as often with this president, both were disturbing. At a private meeting on Monday, President Trump urged evangelical Christian leaders to break federal law and openly support him from the pulpit. Does it matter that he seemed to believe that he had overturned the provision of the tax code that prevents churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates? Truth, fantasy and deceit slosh together with Mr. Trump. What mattered more was the thought that Mr. Trump planted — that a deluge of violence and anarchy would be loosed upon the world if they failed to rally the nation’s Christian soldiers to his side. If the Democrats win the midterm elections, the president warned, “they will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently, and violently.” “The level of hatred, the level of anger is unbelievable,” he said.
Of course, the only political leader who has been inciting and condoning violence has been Mr. Trump. At campaign rallies he fantasized about punching a foe in the face and urged his crowds to “knock the crap out of” protesters, offering to pay their legal bills if they did. Reporters at his rallies have feared for their safety as they faced the “enemy of the people” fury Mr. Trump has sought to foment among his most passionate supporters. When torch-bearing neo-Nazis marched in Virginia last year, and one even ran his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators, killing a woman, Mr. Trump said there was “blame on both sides.” While Mr. Trump tried to terrify the ministers with the threat of “antifa” or anti-fascist activists who occasionally disrupt right-wing demonstrations, we can safely say the president’s real fear is not that tiny group of violent provocateurs, but democracy itself — the millions of Americans who have been quietly going to the polls to reject him and the candidates he supports and may continue to do so in midterm elections this fall.
Another article on Trump’s confusing warning of violence is seen inside trump-privately-
President Trump used typically inflammatory language to warn evangelical leaders at a White House event Monday night of what GOP losses at the ballot box in November could mean for his administration and party, telling attendees that Democrats “will overturn everything that we’ve done and they’ll do it quickly and violently.” Trump met with the 100 or so evangelical supporters during an open press event Monday, touching on the hot button conservative issues religious liberty and abortion, but the tone shifted when the cameras were off during a closed-door event that the New York Times got an audio recording of. As a scare tactic, Trump mentioned Antifa—the sometimes violent anti-fascist activists—by name intentionally conflating them with the entirety of the Democratic Party. “They will end everything immediately,” Trump said. “When you look at Antifa,” he added, “and you look at some of these groups, these are violent people.” The president also instructed the religious leaders to use their pulpits to push members of the churches to vote Republican in November, which would be a violation of the Johnson Amendment prohibiting tax-exempt organizations, namely churches and charities, from campaigning, directly or indirectly, on behalf of a candidate.
Fear is an easily activated emotion. It’s cheap. It’s effective. Trump knows all of this, and he uses it. It is easier to instill people with fear than to imbue them with hope. Fear doesn’t have to be rational or reasonable to be real. A lie is just as solid a foundation for fear as truth is. Indeed, the lie is probably an even better foundation. Trump is playing the people who support him and they revel in the delight of being played. It’s all dramatic theater, a game in which the rule maker is armed with the power of the presidency. He doesn’t so much expose them to new fears as he draws up within them their existing fears. Trump is the Commander of Fear and those who support him have found a perverse comfort in that fear.