After high hopes, President Trump can’t help himself

After the president addressed Congress last week, I was really hoping we had turned a corner. There was less bitterness from the election. No call-out of the press. It was time for Trump to start acting like President Trump.

After his address, several days passed with no Twitter rants and baseless claims. Could this be it? My fingers were crossed. Then these Trump tweets appeared starting an entirely new saga of game-playing using the office of the presidency”

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”

As I said in my last column a couple of weeks ago, the closer we get to the truth about what’s happening in the Trump Administration, the louder and more insane Trump’s statements will become. In this case, he’s getting serious heat about the connections he and his advisors have with Russia.

President Trump needed a distraction. Something to lower the heat on his administration. Obama authorizing wiretapping of Trump Tower was just the ticket. Unfortunately, this has left Republican Senator Lindsay Graham and others still asking for proof, since the FBI cannot find any. In fact, it only took FBI director James B. Comey about 24 hours to ask the Justice Department to reject Trump’s claim.

So here we go again. The problem with these tweets is the seriousness of the accusations, and the fact there is no real proof Obama did anything of the sort. Now the Senate is involved, led by an impatient Senator Graham, who is convinced the president is undermining the democratic process.

Even Press Secretary Sean Spicer has played the no comment card. When asked if he had seen evidence of improper surveillance, he said, “No, that’s above my pay grade.”

Could you imagine if Hillary Clinton was president and she was doing all this? The Republican Party would have her impeached by now. I’m not expecting any swift action from Republicans. At this point, they have not appointed a special counsel to lead a criminal investigation into Russia’s interference with the presidential election.

As for President Trump, he continues to use the same playbook he did when jockeying with the New York tabloids. The problem is we are not talking about a new golf development in Scotland, or a beauty pageant snafu. The stakes are higher.

It’s come to the point where I just don’t believe anything our new president says. And I was really trying to give him the benefit of my doubt. He doesn’t deserve my trust. Politics as usual? All this could be the new normal. Only time will tell.

There is a silver lining, because the majority of the public is supporting the news media’s coverage of the Trump Administration. The proof is in the numbers, as the “Trump bump” has caused major increases in subscriptions coast to coast. This includes all media, from public radio, to newspapers, to digital-only websites.

The New York Times passed the three million subscription threshold for the first time. The New Yorker Magazine has seen a 230 percent increase in subscriptions since the November 8 election.

The need for honest, fact-based journalism has never been more important.

 

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