Thursday, October 5, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He called for the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate "the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!"

Trump's 6:59 A.M. tweet came after two stories he is known to have been obsessed with recently: the still-unrefuted revelation that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, called him a "fucking moron" in a meeting and had to be talked out of resigning, and the confirmation by that Senate committee of the unanimous consensus that Russia had intervened (with genuinely "fake news" among other things) in the 2016 election on his behalf.

The tweet made for a somewhat bizarre press briefing today: Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to walk back the tweet, but without saying so in a way that would result in her explicitly contradicting Trump. Asked to confirm Trump's specific request--that he wanted the Intelligence Committee to investigate American reporters and media organizations--Sanders said, "I don't know that that's the case." According to NBC reporter Kristen Welker, during that same briefing, one reporter shouted, "By fake news, does he mean reports he doesn't like?" Sanders did not acknowledge the question.

Why is this a problem?

  • News isn't fake just because the president doesn't like it.