[Marxism] Murdoch newspaper's scathing denunciation of Trump

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 22 10:25:09 MDT 2017


  Wall Street Journal Editorial, Mar. 22 2017
A President's Credibility

If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that 
landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him?

If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that 
landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? 
Would the rest of the world? We're not sure, which speaks to the damage 
that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless 
stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials 
and other falsehoods.

The latest example is Mr. Trump's refusal to back off his Saturday 
morning tweet of three weeks ago that he had "found out that [Barack] 
Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory" on 
Election Day. He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of 
intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said 
they have seen no such evidence.

Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin 
bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. 
Sean Spicer -- who doesn't deserve this treatment -- was dispatched last 
week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the 
Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence.

That bungle led to a public denial from the British Government 
Communications Headquarters, and British news reports said the U.S. 
apologized. But then the White House claimed there was no apology. For 
the sake of grasping for any evidence to back up his original tweet, and 
the sin of pride in not admitting error, Mr. Trump had his spokesman 
repeat an unchecked TV claim that insulted an ally.

The wiretap tweet is also costing Mr. Trump politically as he hands his 
opponents a sword. Mr. Trump has a legitimate question about why the 
U.S. was listening to his former National Security Adviser Michael 
Flynn, and who leaked news of his meeting with the Russian ambassador. 
But that question never gets a hearing because the near-daily 
repudiation of his false tweet is a bigger media story.

FBI director James Comey also took revenge on Monday by joining the 
queue of those saying the bureau has no evidence to back up the wiretap 
tweet. Mr. Comey even took the unusual step of confirming that the FBI 
is investigating ties between the Trump election campaign and Russia.

Mr. Comey said he could make such a public admission only in "unusual 
circumstances," but why now? Could the wiretap tweet have made Mr. Comey 
angry because it implied the FBI was involved in illegal surveillance? 
Mr. Trump blundered in keeping Mr. Comey in the job after the election, 
but now the President can't fire the man leading an investigation into 
his campaign even if he wants to.

All of this continues the pattern from the campaign that Mr. Trump is 
his own worst political enemy. He survived his many false claims as a 
candidate because his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and 
his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton. But now he's President, 
and he needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will 
excuse anything. As he is learning with the health-care bill, Mr. Trump 
needs partners in his own party to pass his agenda. He also needs 
friends abroad who are willing to trust him when he asks for support, 
not least in a crisis.

This week should be dominated by the smooth political sailing for Mr. 
Trump's Supreme Court nominee and the progress of health-care reform on 
Capitol Hill. These are historic events, and success will show he can 
deliver on his promises. But instead the week has been dominated by the 
news that he was repudiated by his own FBI director.

Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump's approval rating 
at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn't 
show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he's a fake 
President.



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