During his post-midterms press conference, Donald Trump reignited his incendiary assault on the free press, which he refers to, in Stalinist terms, as “the enemy of the people.” It was a disgraceful display of infantile tantrum throwing by our crybaby president who is too weak to face a group of reporters without breaking down into insults and bullying.
The big news from the press conference in this regard was Trump’s overheated conflict with CNN’s Jim Acosta. Trump berated him repeatedly as “rude” and unfit to be working for CNN (as if Trump is the authority on CNN’s staffing). Acosta’s offense was trying to get Trump to answer a question about his racist characterizations of the refugee “caravan.” [Side Note: notice how that issue has disappeared from Trump’s bag of distractions?] The matter was later escalated by the White House, who suspended Acosta’s pass to the premises and falsely accused him “placing his hands” on an intern who tried to grab the microphone away from him.
Hoever, overlooked in the dust up with Acosta was the fact that he was not the only one that Trump went after. He also had words with three other long-time White House reporters from reputable news agencies. In the course of his often incoherent and childish ranting, Trump attacked these journalists as well:
To Peter Alexander, NBC: “Well I’m not a big fan of yours either, to be honest.” and “What, are you trying to be him [Acosta]?”
To April Ryan, American Urban Radio: “Sit down. I didn’t call you. I didn’t call you. I didn’t call you. I’ll give you voter suppression.”
To Yamiche Alcindor, PBS: “Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African-Americans? […] That’s such a racist question.”
It is not inconsequential that two of these reporters were black women, and that one of them was accused of being racist. For the record, Trump’s approval rating with African-Americans is actually only three percent. But when the cumulative effect of Trump’s cowardly whining is taken fully into account, it reveals a president who is actively at war with, not just the press, but the Constitution.
And that assessment is affirmed by Trump’s recent threats to pursue retaliatory investigations of his Democratic critics, and his overt warning to his own Republican colleagues to “say goodbye” if they don’t wholly “embrace” him.
These are not the acts of an American leader who respects the principles that this nation stands for. These are the acts of a wannabe dictator who is determined to usurp powers that breach the standards set by our Founding Fathers. Trump clearly is more anxious to emulate Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un than George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. And the American people – and the Congress that supposedly represents them – must not stand for it. Those who even passively allow Trump to continue down this path are complicit in his treason.
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