Donald Trump’s daily media attacks at his COVID-19 briefings appear to be part of a coordinated effort to aid his political fundraising efforts.
Not a day goes by where Trump fails to launch a highly visceral attack on the “fake media.” To the contrary, the bashing has become a staple of his widely publicized briefings.
But these highly visible attacks appear to be contrived and targeted to support his fundraising, according to a campaign email examined by The New York Independent.
The email was sponsored by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee (TMAGAC), a joint fundraising committee composed of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. (DJTP) and the Republican National Committee (RNC).
In its appeal to supporters, the group takes direct aim at the media and Democrats, as if they are synonymous.
“The Fake News is working hand-in-hand with their Democrat partners in the hopes of TAKING DOWN YOUR PRESIDENT,” the missive states (all caps included)
“This isn’t just an attack on me, it’s an attack on YOU,” the appeal, ostensibly from the president himself states.
The email also fans the flames of geographical division.
“We know that they’re firing up their base of ELITE MEGA DONORS who live on the COAST to bolster their campaigns, which is why I’m really counting on you to step up right now.”
To create a sense of urgency, the email notes that the first Federal Election Commission quarterly fundraising deadline is fast approaching.
“I want to raise another 5 MILLION DOLLARS by the end of the month,” it states.
“In April, our fundraising numbers will be made public for everyone to see and I want to make sure our numbers CRUSH the Democrats. You’ve always been one of my best supporters and I know you won’t let me down,” the missive from Trump continues.
It closes with a “thank you” from “Donald J. Trump, President of the United States.”
Trump’s daily coronavirus briefing is the perfect vehicle to keep his battle with the “fake media” front and center before the public.
In one glaring example, Trump attacked NBC reporter Peter Alexander, for asking what the President would say to Americans who are scared.
Trump’s answer: “I say you are a terrible reporter. That’s what I say.”
Instead of reassuring Americans, Trump personally attacked the reporter and the media in general.
Trump called the reporter and several other outlets “fake news” and went on to falsely accuse the media of making up stories and using fake sources in their reporting, according to The Hill, a politics and government website.
In another widely publicized clash, Trump attacked PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor for asking him to explain his comment about how many ventilators New York state might need, according to media reports.
“Mr. President, I have two questions,” she said. “The first is you’ve said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment that governors are requesting they don’t actually need. You said New York might not need 30,000 …”
“I didn’t say that,” he interrupted.
“You said it on Sean Hannity’s Fox News,” Alcindor responded, accurately.
“Come on, come on. Why don’t you people — why don’t you act in a little more positive? It’s always ‘get ya, get ya, get ya.’ And you know what? That’s why nobody trusts the media anymore,” he said.
“Look, let me tell you something. Be nice. Don’t be threatening. Be nice.”
When CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked about Trump’s repeated, mistaken assurances that the virus was contained and could “go away” by April, Trump lashed out again.
“Instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question,” the president said.
Trump’s coronavirus briefings have also become a platform for him to promote not only himself but also his political supporters and corporations.
On Monday (Mar 30), chief executives of Proctor & Gamble, Jockey International and United Technologies all had their turn at the podium, according to The New York Times.
But the most puzzling appearance of all–then, again, perhaps not, was by friend and political supporter Michael Lindell, founder of Minnesota-based MyPillow Inc.
While the nation has been gripped by the pandemic, which is turning out to be far worse by the day, Trump is clearly using his platform to promote himself, his friends… and his political fundraising.