The crisis surrounding Donald Trump’s White House has risen to a Category Five Shit Storm following publication of Michael Wolff’s book. The administration’s only media strategy is to cry “lies” and “fake news,” but it’s clearly no longer enough.
Trump has gone to that well once too often to deflect critical news media reports.
Much of the criticism in Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury” has come from within the White House itself.
To make matters worse, former close confidant Steve Bannon is a major source of many of the most damaging revelations.
The former White House chief strategist charged that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian officials in June 2016 was “treasonous.”
Still waiting for Donald Trump to be downgraded to a tropical shit storm.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) January 3, 2018
Bannon also said there was “zero chance” in his opinion that Trump Jr. didn’t walk Russian officials up to his father’s 26th floor suite, clearly implicating the President.
That has put the administration in the awkward and totally unconvincing position of denouncing Bannon and trying to claim his role was minimal in the campaign and White House.
The only problem is that flies in the face of months and months of statements to the contrary by the president and others.
The administration’s only other strategy has been to attack Wolff’s credibility. But that’s clearly fallen on its face, as well.
As Wolff said himself this morning, during a “Today” show interview, his credibility is being challenged by a President with the worst credibility of any chief executive in history.
As Conan O’Brien said on Twitter yesterday. “Still waiting for Donald Trump to be downgraded to a tropical shit storm.”
It isn’t happening.
Only Fox News and a few Trump stalwarts on Capitol Hill are buying into the President’s campaign to discredit Bannon and the book.
The administration only made matters worse by ordering lawyer Charles J Harder to fire off a letter threatening a libel suit and demanding a halt to publication.
That tactic may have worked when Trump was a television celebrity or a private citizen. But as President, the chances of legal action succeeding are non-existent. The book is clearly protected speech under the First Amendment.
The net result; publisher Henry Holt & Co. rushed the book into stores to capitalize on the publicity.
Needless to say, books are flying off the shelves, according to media reports.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Republican leaders this weekend at Camp David. Undoubtedly, salvaging his administration will be on the agenda.
The only question is will Trump listen?
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