Trump Team Still Doesn’t Seem to Understand They’re in the White House Now

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I went to lunch, did a bit of shopping, and came home. Elapsed time: about 90 minutes. In that span:

  • President Trump endorsed a plan for a 20 percent tax on imports from all countries we’re running a trade deficit with.
  • Sean Spicer said Mexico’s portion of the tax would pay for the wall.
  • Spicer then said this wouldn’t raise prices for American consumers, though it quite plainly would.
  • Finally, a few minutes later, Spicer reversed himself and said the 20 percent tax is not a policy proposal after all, merely an example of how we might pay for the wall.

As of now, no one really knows what any of this means. The Trump team still doesn’t seem to get that they’re in the effing White House now. What they say matters. You don’t just toss out any random shit that comes to mind.

In the meantime, Steve Bannon took to the New York Times to up the ante on the White House war with the media:

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call. “I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

….Mr. Bannon, who rarely grants interviews to journalists outside of Breitbart News, the provocative right-wing website he ran until last August, was echoing comments by Mr. Trump this weekend, when the president said he was in “a running war” with the media and called journalists “among the most dishonest people on earth.”

Actually, I think we all understand just fine why Donald Trump is president: because he ran a racist, boorish, epically mendacious campaign and Republicans all decided to go along with it. And even that wouldn’t have been enough if Trump hadn’t gotten some additional help from his pals James Comey and Vladimir Putin. In any case, to the extent that the media is dedicated to exposing lies and reporting the truth, it is indeed the opposition party to people like Bannon.

Then there’s this:

Finally, if you need a bit of levity to make up for all the rest of this, our friends at Public Policy Polling have released yet another of their entertaining trolls:

Then again, I suppose this isn’t really funny. Here’s my guess: despite more than a year of spittle-flecked fury at Hillary Clinton for using a private email server, most Trump voters probably don’t even know what a private server is. Nor do they care. It was just a buzzword that somehow meant Hillary was a crook.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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