Trump still believes the issue will go away
Is President Donald J. Trump being treated fairly by the press?
That may be a partisan issue with a lot of people; his defenders no doubt think the press is overdoing things, and his detractors look at the next newspaper headline or cable news broadcast looking for more blood.
The two news organizations breaking the most news right now seem to be the Washington Post and the New York Times.
The Post has covered Washington, D.C. for years and has found faults in virtually every presidency since I can remember. It is acting as a government watchdog, and when something seems amiss, it points it out. The public can decide what to do about it.
The New York Times has been covering Trump for years since the bulk of his real estate empire started in New York. It has covered Trump’s successes and his failures with business bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits. The Times may know Trump’s history better than any media outlet.
Major news outlets like CBS, NBC, ABS, CNN and Fox News have had their scoops, too. And, unfortunately for our president, much of the news has not been good.
Trump has not been well served by the people he has hired, and he made some mistakes in not understanding that he needed to have staff people with good relations with Congress if he was to get his agenda moving. And on some other issues either his staff was not bright and gave him bad information or they gave him good information and he chose to ignore it.
The questions over his and/or his campaign staff’s relations with Russia and Russia’s interference in the election campaign continue to dog him because he refuses to deal with the issue. And that is delaying work Congress could be doing on his legislative agenda because Congress is tied up in hearings or members of Congress are tied to their TV screens to see the latest bomb drop.
The firing of James Comey as FBI director, with Trump himself saying it was at least partially tied to Comey’s Russia investigation in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, raises more questions. Especially after Trump spokespeople tried to make it clear the firing was for Comey’s work on the Hillary Clinton email issue.
Confusing the issue, and further damaging Trump’s credibility, is the mismatch by what Trump spokespeople say at press briefings and what the president himself says or does. Often they say things that just don’t make sense, and the public is expected to believe it.
If Trump wanted to clear up the Russia issue he could do it in an afternoon. He could release tax returns that would show his sources of income. He could release transcripts of meetings he had with Russian diplomats and also open his schedule book to show who he had seen and hadn’t seen. He could direct his staff to turn over any Russia-related material. If he had tapes to back that up it would be even better.
But, instead, Trump seems to think the issue will go away and blames the continued attention on the press and government leakers. And the flow of information seems to be increasing daily.