HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Friday, May 19, 2017

 
Trump's other horrifying comment to Comey

by digby






I wrote about it for Salon this morning:


President Donald Trump had a news conference with the Colombian president on Thursday when he said, among other things, “There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.” No, those are not remarks translated into Spanish by Colombian reporters and then back again. He actually said that.

To be fair, what Trump seems to have meant was that he and his campaign had not colluded with the Russians. And for the first time he appears to have made a disclaimer that he is only speaking for himself. Still, it’s so garbled that he could have meant almost anything, including that he literally always speaks for himself and the Russians.

In the past few days, Trump’s persecution complex has reached new heights. At his commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday he lamented, “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly.” He has taken to calling the Russian investigations a “witch hunt,” even going so far as to boast about it on Twitter on Thursday morning:



Naturally he thinks he’s been targeted in the biggest and greatest witch hunt ever. Apparently, he doesn’t know that there were real witch hunts where people were killed and political witch hunts that destroyed lives of many innocent people. He is certainly unaware that there were leaders who suffered at the hands of political opponents in ways that Trump in his golden palaces eating his two scoops of ice cream and extra sauce every night can only imagine.






I have never seen a more whiny, petulant 70-year-old person in my life. In that one respect Donald Trump may indeed hold the title of “the greatest.”

You will notice that Trump’s main nemesis is still the press, which he has villainized since he began his campaign. One suspects that this started out as shtick, building on the thousands of hours of talk-radio research that his lieutenant at the time, Sam Nunberg, provided to him. Beating up on the press is a staple of right-wing media and it gets a huge response from conservative crowds. But up until he started the campaign Trump had always reveled in media attention and went to great lengths to draw it. In fact, he considered himself a member of the club. But over the course of time the hatred has obviously become very real and very personal. He loathes the press and considers it the source of all of his problems.

Obviously, he isn’t the first president to feel this way. Richard Nixon famously kept an enemies list which included a large number of journalists. But Trump is taking this in a dangerous direction. The New York Times story about James Comey’s memo rightly focused on the fact that the president may have tried to obstruct justice by taking the FBI director aside privately to ask him to let Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, off the hook. But Trump said something else in that meeting which has received less attention:

Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.

First of all, the FBI doesn’t put people in prison. Trump seems confused about how the justice system works in general, so he probably didn’t know that. One only hopes that he doesn’t figure it out because when he does he’ll realize that his most loyal collaborator, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is the man to talk to about that. It’s true that Sessions is busy at the moment ramping up the drug war and making life miserable for people of color, but he could probably find time to put a few journalists in jail if it would make the boss happy.

Trump’s warm affinity for strongmen like Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is not a good omen in this regard. Every one of those leaders have jailed journalists and worse for being critical of their leadership. Obviously, the U.S. has not yet gone nearly as far as they have, but there are some alarming examples of press harassment since Trump took office.

Just last week a West Virginia journalist was arrested and jailed after following Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price down a hallway asking him about health care policy. On Thursday, John Donnelly,a reporter for Roll Call, was manhandled and escorted out of the building by security guards for asking questions of the FCC commissioners. (Ironically, Donnelly is chairman of the National Press Club’s Press Freedom Team.)

This is not normal. Neither is it normal for State Department officials to speak to reporters the way communications adviser R.C. Hammond spoke to CNN’s White House correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, who reported this exchange on her Facebook page:

Monday night, as the story of the President giving classified information to the Russians was in full evolution, I get a call from … RC Hammond, the State Department’s communications advisor, who had his facts wrong about what was reported and by whom.

But he kicked off the conversation with a venomously irate “What the hell are you doing??!!” Followed up with full-on DEMANDS — over and over, and over again — to tell him who my sources were. He kept pushing, as if he thought this was ample reason. Then, “Why won’t you tell me who they are?” he bellowed repeatedly, again demanding I at least tell him what jobs they held at State, or in what areas.

I had to explain to him that wasn’t how it worked.
It got worse from there.

Granted, the Trump administration is obviously under tremendous stress. But these three random incidents don’t reflect the administration alone. They also reflect an attitude on the part of law enforcement and security officials toward the media that is becoming increasingly hostile. People in authority are taking their cues from the president and that’s disturbing.

.