Donald J. Trump, America’s tweeter-in-chief, speaks in 140-character bursts. He also, to all appearances, thinks in 140-character bursts. But he acts with absolutely no character at all.
Just consider one hour in the Twitter life of the man who purports to be the leader of the free world.
Trump has almost singlehandedly rendered the term “fake news” – which once referred to misinformation (falsehoods) or disinformation (propaganda) – essentially meaningless.
Fake news, to Trump, is any news he doesn’t like, regardless of its accuracy or credibility. The man willfully – no, aggressively – lives in a fantasy information environment.
[Editor’s note: In Trumpworld, the previous sentence makes everything that follows fake news.]
P.S. The president of the United States sucking up to a suck-up cable news show is just so . . . meta. Not to mention pathetic.
Actually, the Russian connection was an attempt to paper-over the many shortcomings in Donald Trump’s campaign. Not to get technical about it.
Trump’s assault on the U.S. intelligence community is arguably his most craven action since taking office. In the past few weeks he has referred to “so-called” intelligence officials and likened them to Nazis.
In reality, a place Trump rarely occupies, most of those intelligence officials are dedicated public servants who are risking jail sentences (leaking classified information is a felony) to ensure that the American public knows what its government is doing in their name.
Some characterize the information as “revenge leaks,” but others believe the leaks are a reflection of intelligence officials’ concern that the Justice Department, headed by Trump toady Jeff Sessions, will refuse to investigate the Putin-Trump axis of ego.
P.S. The New York Times and the Washington Post are hardly failing – subscriptions for both are up substantially – and Trump knows that full well. He just chooses to ignore it – the same way he ignores how much he loved leaks during his presidential campaign.
Is this the same Donald Trump who said on CNN last August “[Putin is] not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand. He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want” – even though Putin had already seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula?
One last thing about Donald Trump’s lack of character.
On the same day Trump’s Twitter feed featured all those tweets, he was asked at a joint press conference with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States.
Trump started his answer by bragging, as he so often does, about his electoral victory.
“Well, I just want to say that we are very honored by the victory we had. 306 Electoral College votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221 but then they said there was no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.”
Then, on to the Jewish issue: “As far as people, Jewish people – so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren . . .”
It was a total non-answer. Today, when essentially the same question was asked at a press conference, Trump said it was “not a fair question.” He also said of the reporter, “See, he lied and said he was going to get up and ask a very straight simple question.”
Donald Trump has no scruples, no shame, no character. Period.