Saturday, May 26, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lied about the existence of an off-the-record source that dozens of reporters heard from at an official White House briefing.

Trump, still fuming from the implosion of his failed North Korea summit, lashed out at the media yet again today, with a claim that the New York Times was fabricating a source:

The article in question contrasts Trump's frantic insistence that the summit could still happen as planned with his own staff's assurance that it could not.

The source exists. His name is Matthew Pottinger, and he gave an off-the-record briefing from the White House in front of dozens of reporters, many of whom immediately confirmed the Times' story. There is also audiotape of the meeting that confirms every detail of the article, word for word.

Trump accuses the media of fabricating sources almost as often as one of his staff says unflattering things about him to reporters--which is quite often indeed. But it's also quite likely that nobody in the White House bothered to try to explain to Trump why the hastily arranged and precipitously canceled summit could not be instantly revived on schedule.

Who cares?

  • A competent president would check to make sure he knew what his staff was saying before accusing the entire White House press corps of making stuff up.
  • Bad things happen when a president doesn't know what his own administration is up to.
  • People do not simply cease to exist when they say things the president wishes they hadn't, except in dictatorships