The Senate made a major discovery today. By unanimous consent, it passed a non-binding resolution affirming that the press is ‘not the enemy of the people.’ Who knew?
The spur for this senatorial effusion of support for the press was, of course, the recent temper tantrums of El Jefe. Fresh from stripping former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance and professing to be thunderStrzok about the misbehaviour of the FBI, Donald Trump, who has always enjoyed a love-hate relationship with the press (New York Times columnist Gail Collins reminisced today about how Trump once called her a dog and a pig), was in full attack mode against the Boston Globe, which urged newspapers around the country to stick up for press freedoms in editorials. Over three hundred weighed in. One that did not was the Los Angeles Times, whose editor Nicholas Goldberg quite rightly said he was having none of it. Harold Rosenberg once called intellectuals a herd of independent minds. Not Goldberg. He observed, ‘The president himself already treats the media as a cabal — “enemies of the people,” he has called us, suggesting over and over that we’re in cahoots to do damage to the country. The idea of joining together to protest him seems almost to encourage that kind of conspiracy thinking by the president and his loyalists. Why give them ammunition to scream about “collusion”’? He might also have noted that the last time newspapers almost unanimously editorialised against Trump in November 2016, it didn’t seem to help put Hillary Clinton over the top.
Even as Trump accused the Globe of ‘collusion,’ which has become his favourite boo word, in an effort to trivialise its implications for the Russia investigation he so loathes, Omarosa popped back up to taunt him once more. It seems that she secretly tape recorded a conversation with Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, who offered her $15,000 in hush money a few days after after she was evicted from the White House in December 2017. ‘It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out,’ Trump said. She added, ‘Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have — We’ve got to — Everything, everybody positive, right?’
Wrong. The apprentice surpassed the master. According to Vanity Fair, Trump is so incensed by Omarosa’s perfidy that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to arrest her. If only. Her book sales would sky rocket. If Sessions refuses, Trump will presumably issue another tweet calling him ‘scared stiff and Missing In Action.’
This afternoon, Trump once more showed he can’t let it go. The Republican National Committee issued a 49-second clip job of Omarosa enthusiastically endorsing Trump at various points for president. ‘Guess she forgot about these tapes,’ the RNC stated. Trump tweeted it out with the words, ‘Thanks for the kind words Omarosa!’ Omarosa, for her part, says she has more tapes to share. It could become a pressing matter for Trump.