Obviously upset by the media coverage of his firing of FBI director James Comey this week, President Trump has now taken to Twitter to threaten to end all White House press briefings.
Here’s his train of thought:
Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The Fake Media is working overtime today!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
...Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Now, Trump is right that the media and Democrats are way out over their skis on the Trump-Russia collusion question. We have seen no hard evidence whatsoever that Trump was colluding with Russia to sway the election; while both former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn had some ties to Russia, no evidence of election collusion has been presented on either of them, let alone Trump.
But then Trump goes off the rails. Why would it not be possible for his surrogates to “stand at the podium with perfect accuracy”? Isn’t that their job? Was Trump too busy to inform them just why he’d fired his highly controversial FBI director? And if your communications team stinks, why not fire them and replace them with people who can do a better job?
Instead, Trump threatens to basically close the press room and start issuing talking points from the White House. This neglects the fact that the American people deserve answers from their executive branch. Imagine if President Obama had done the same thing. We’d be talking about the crackdown on fundamental press freedoms.
Trump is still president of the United States. That means he has an agenda he should be pursuing. Threatening to cut off communications with the press is just another distraction from his agenda — unless his agenda is starting useless feces fights on Twitter. In that case, everything’s going marvelously.