The President was very up in his feelings this morning. He tweeted ten times before noon, mostly broadsides against the media for illegally covering the COVID epidemic.
How can it be “an election law violation” to report on the surging number of coronavirus infections? Who is the “Fake News” coordinating with? And, uh, what “great early election numbers” would the President be referring to?
Trump accused the media, which is a “Cartel” now, of conspiring to hide his opponent’s dementia.
Which is something coming from a guy who consistently refers to “hydrosonic missiles” and “invisible” F-35 airplanes.
We’re currently losing eight hundred American lives every day from coronavirus, and he’s still accusing the media of engaging in a conspiracy for writing about the fact that we’ve crossed the threshold of 80,000 positive tests a day.
“Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST. A Fake News Media Conspiracy. Many young people who heal very fast. 99.9%. Corrupt Media conspiracy at all time high. On November 4th., topic will totally change. VOTE!” he scream-tweeted at 8:46. Followed by “The Fake News Media is riding COVID, COVID, COVID, all the way to the Election. Losers!” at 8:58.
Someone needs more fiber in his diet. AHEM.
Here he is last week accusing a reporter of being “a criminal” for “not reporting” the unsubstantiated allegations about Hunter Biden being flogged by his pro bono lawyer and recently indicted former campaign manager.
And in the 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl that he stomped out of and released on Facebook for spite, the President excoriated Lesley Stahl for failing to print his fact-free assertion that Barack Obama “tapped his wires.”
TRUMP: They spied on my campaign and they got caught.
STAHL: Can I just say something? You know, this is 60 Minutes and we can’t put on things we can’t verify.
TRUMP: But you won’t put it on because it’s bad for Biden. Look, let me tell you.
STAHL: We can’t put it on things we can’t verify…
TRUMP: Lesley, they spied on my campaign.
STAHL: We can’t verify that.
TRUMP: It’s been totally verified.
TRUMP: It’s been. Just go down and get the papers. They spied on my campaign. They got caught.
TRUMP: And then they went much further than that. Then they got caught. And you will see that, Lesley. And you know that. But you just don’t want to put it on the air.
Just go down (where?) and get the papers (what papers?).
We are starting to get the impression that the President doesn’t entirely understand the First Amendment. Which is not exactly news four years into this waking nightmare, but doesn’t bode well if Trump gets another term.
He’s already threatening to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and even Attorney General Bill Barr for failing to perp walk his political enemies in front of the cameras, or even gin up a nice Comey-style October surprise. Given four more years, it’s pretty likely that he’ll find someone like Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz to do his dirty work.
Yes, the constant ranting about doing LOCK HER UPS to his political opponents is kind of funny — like your drunk uncle uniting the family in eye rolls by regaling the family with stuff he saw on Infowars. But in some ways, it’s really, really not.</43
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.
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