Saturday, November 25, 2017

What did Trump do today?

He continued to provide evidence that will be used against his own Department of Justice in an antitrust lawsuit.

Shortly after an unacknowledged golf outing (his fourth in four days), Trump tweeted this:
Under normal circumstances, CNN's response would probably be all that really needed to be said on the matter.
But Trump's invariably negative tweets about CNN (at least 29 since taking office, not counting various controversial retweets) have taken on another dimension recently. His administration is trying to block a proposed merger between Time Warner (the parent company of CNN) and AT&T. While there are plausible reasons for the government to object to the deal, Trump has gone out of his way to make clear to his Department of Justice how he feels. Whether by coincidence or because of pressure from Trump, the DOJ is now demanding that Time Warner sell the network in order to receive approval for the rest of the merger.

It is not lawful for a president to try to influence specific DOJ decisions, particularly not in an attempt to punish a media outlet he sees as a political threat. Accordingly, Time Warner and AT&T are now in a stronger legal position with respect to the Trump administration than they would be if Trump had been able to control his outbursts.

Why does this matter?

  • It's bad if a president's ability to do his job is hindered by his inability to control his temper.