Monday’s White House coronavirus press conference has already gone down in the books as “batshit” and other superlatives. Donald Trump saw fit to use the occasion to regale viewers with a campaign reelection ad, and tell reporters, “Now I’m going to question you, because you’re so guilty.” Fox News aired it, of course. I couldn’t obtain an embeddable clip of it but hit this link to Mediate and see a White House propaganda production which rivals anything that North Korean television comes up with. All we need is Trump on a white horse and the sun racing across the sky, and Trump’s conversion to Kim Jong Un-esque stature will be complete.
“So we could give you hundreds of clips like that from governors,” the president said, at the conclusion of the bizarre, anti-media hit that could have doubled as a Trump re-election campaign ad. “We can give you hundreds of clips just like that. We have them. We didn’t want this to go on too long, but I just want to say it’s very sad when people write false stories, like in that case I guess it was mostly from the New York Times which is a highly — I mean, if you had libel laws, they would have been out of business even before they will end up going out of business. It’s too bad.”
Trump once again predicted the imminent doom of all media outlets, not just the New York Times, when he leaves office. “They’ll all be out of business when I leave in five years. They would have already been out of business but they write about me.” In addition to telling off the press, Trump strutted his stuff and let us know how all powerful he is. Daily Beast:
The president, meanwhile, went on to insist he has absolute power when it comes to governors’ stay-at-home orders during the crisis. Asked on Monday how he would respond if a governor issued a stay-at-home order in conflict of his national wishes, Trump insisted his power as president is “total.”
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that is the way it’s gonna be,” Trump bellowed. “It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.”
The president reiterated that assertion throughout the rest of the marathon briefing. After CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pushed back, saying it wasn’t true that Trump’s authority is total, the president said they were “going to write papers on this” but that it won’t be necessary because the governors “need us one way or the other because ultimately it comes with the federal government.”
When further asked if any governors had agreed that he has the authority to force them to reopen, Trump said that he didn’t ask anybody because, “I don’t need to.”
No, King Donald, you’re right, you have total authority, you are totally above the law, in fact, you are the law. Now if you’ll just take this nice dose of thorazine and go with the lovely gentlemen in the white coats, they’ll show you to your castle, where you can continue to make proclamations day and night, to your heart’s content.
Here’s how the Democratic party bottom lined it.
“More than 20,000 Americans have died, hospitals and states still can’t get the supplies they need, testing is failing, and instead of updating Americans on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump commandeered the briefing to run campaign propaganda to sooth his small ego and pathetically try to cover up for his own failed response,” DNC Deputy War Room Director Daniel Wessel said in an emailed statement. “It won’t work, and the American people deserve better.”
Welcome to the War of the Words, because that is what Trump set the stage for today. From now until November 3, it’s going to be him manipulating every moment he can get in front of the camera, and possibly with more thinly-veiled campaign ads such as today’s. His only problem is that as the days go by, more people are dying due to his incompetence and indifference — and that will be the fodder for Democratic campaign ads and more from the good folks at Republicans For the Rule of Law and The Lincoln Project.
And bear in mind, despite Trump’s protestations of omniscience, he cannot overrule the governors of the different states on this matter. Luckily for us, they’ve been coordinating on their own and they’re the highest leadership we have right now, because the federal government is broken and in the hands of a malicious child.