He says he hates the media, and maybe he does, but nonetheless he knows how to use the media to his advantage. His Twitter account that has the power to control the news has been used by the president several times to control the narrative. He decides what the media covers when he Tweets, he controls what people read and what people watch, in 140 characters or less.
The biggest story in politics coming into the new week should probably be Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from the investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia, but it was seldom talked about on the Sunday news shows. Or Jake Tapper and Chuck Todd could have discussed the Vice President’s use of a private email account to conduct official business while Governor of Indiana. Those are all great choices that should have been the top stories this weekend.
But instead, it was the President of the United States calling his predecessor a “bad (or sick) guy. The White House staffers on Sunday defended the president’s words about wiretapping rather than the Attorney Generals decision to recuse himself, or the Vice President’s emails. Donald Trump was able to steer America away from the truly embarrassing scandal that could have further damaged his six weeks old administration and deepened once more the sense of panic inside the White House that has thus far been the theme of his presidency.
This isn’t the first time that Trump has said something inflammatory about Obama. When Obama was elected he was famous for saying publicly that he thought the president needed to show America his birth certificate because he didn’t think that Obama was born here, which is, of course, a mildly racist comment. But during the transition period, he seemed to make nice with the president and even praise him. Perhaps the most recent of praise is when Trump said that the national debt had been decreased by $12 billion during the month of January 2017. What he may or may not have realized is that during the month of January 2017, the former president’s policies were intact.
That really was a nice thing to say about Obama, he didn’t have to do that.
Tune in next week for our fifth edition of “World War III: Trump v. The Media” on Thursday