Trump is ending 2018 Tweeting that “I’m in the Oval Office. Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall. You voted yes in 2006 and 2013. One more yes, but with me in office, I’ll get it built, and Fast!” This was immediately checked by an MSNBC reporter on the scene noting that there was no Marine outside the White House as there always is when Trump is actually in the Oval Office. They reported that requests to verify this went unanswered.
As for MSNBC, they are nipping at the heels of Fox News threatening their rating dominance. As reported in The Washington Post “MSNBC is surging” in all caps “MSNBC IS THE #1 CABLE NEWS NETWORK FOR WEEK OF DEC. 17, BEATING FOX NEWS FOR 1ST TIME IN 17 YEARS.”
We know that Trump doesn’t live in an impenetrable bubble of Fox News propaganda because his Tweets show he reads, watches and responds to other media. For example, he Tweeted today “I am the only person in America who could say that, ‘I’m bringing our great troops back home, with victory,’ and get BAD press. It is Fake News and Pundits who have FAILED for years that are doing the complaining. If I stayed in Endless Wars forever, they would still be unhappy!” Every time he refers to the fake news proves that he is paying attention to the real news. For example another Tweet from today: “…I campaigned on getting out of Syria and other places. Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working. Just doing what I said I was going to do!”
Trump is sometimes shown with newspapers on his desk. The other day he had The New York Times in front of him in a photograph supposedly showing him working hard over the holidays. A reporter enlarged the paper and it was a day or two old but it was The New York Times. Who placed it there or whether he read more than the headlines is not known.
Here’s the front page of today’s New York Times where the top above the fold story won’t please Gina Haspel, his CIA director: “C.I.A.’s Afghan Forces Leave a Trail of Abuse and Anger” although the other administration story “Trump Digs In, Darkening Hopes for a Deal to End the Shutdown” may make him happy because it is about him and he likes the image of himself digging in.
Most assuredly Trump has The Washington Post delivered to him every day. Today’s edition may or may not please him because the above the fold section has a story titled “War of words centers on ‘wall'” because he likes to be engaged in wars of words. However, beneath the fold there’s “Trump averaged 15 false statements a day in 2018.” and that he may not appreciate.
This is all good news because at least the president realizes at some level that he isn’t being worshipped by intelligent people, and that he has everything he says being fact-checked. He has to know that the word is getting out that he lies on average 15 times a day.
I haven’t read anywhere that Trump uses the Internet to follow the news. If he did he’d be pleased to learn that Elizabeth Warren was jumping into the presidential race. That was the top story until “House Democrats ready strategy to reopen government, deny Trump wall money” bumped it down the page. That wouldn’t make him happy.
Trump has to know that were it not for the support of uneducated voters, support coming from those who are gullible, those who don’t engage in critical thinking, those who respond to emotional rather than logical appeals, he would not be president. He knows that most of his supporters rely on Fox News for their “facts” about him, and that more and more people are tuning in to CNN and MSNBC.
Because he isn’t totally ignoring the “fake news” he has to know that he has few people who could be considered stellar intellects, Ivy League academics, former DOJ prosecutors, 4 star generals, and pundits supporting him. For every Allan Derschowitz (who now is griping that anti-Trump bias keeps him off CNN) he has a dozen like Lawrence Tribe (who pushes for impeachment), for example. In fact, as far as lawyers go, he’s lost Fox New’s commentators Judge Andrew Napolitano.
I have a sneaky suspicion that Trump watches MSNBC and CNN far more often than he will ever admit because even with their endless fawning over how great he is and how he can do no wrong, even a malignant narcissist must have a threshold where this gets boring. More importantly, Trump likes confrontation and hitting back whenever he’s attacked, and rarely does anyone on Fox News give him a chance to do this.
All this adds up to good news because when Trump rails at his enemies when they reveal that he’s not only a con man and a fraud, but that he’s dangerous, the greater the chance that he will lose support among the Senate Republicans who are losing support of their own base who discover the same things. These are the elected officials who may end up being the jury deciding Trump he stays on as president.
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