How Dangerous Is Trump's Mental Illness For The Country?
First everyone was mocking the size of his small... hands. Now they're mocking the size of the small turnout for his bleak inauguration. And this morning, on day two of the Age of Trump, Meet The Press viewers sat around pondering the relationship between "alternative facts" and lies. Trump and his sad-sack paid propagandists can claim there were a million or a million and a half people at his inauguration all they want but that won't make the pictures go away. Glaslighting generally doesn't work as well on people with 3 digit IQs as it does on Trump voters. And, as David Frum put it this morning, "the alt-right administration brings you the alt-fact."
At least Kellyanne Con-Man admitted on ABC's This Week this morning that presidents are not judged by "the crowd sizes at their inauguration; they're judged by their accomplishments." Trump's very first accomplishment, as we noted in real time, was to go immediately from reading Bannon's nice little phrase how "Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families" to signing an order to cancel a fee cut on mortgage costs for first-time and low-income home buyers, a move the National Association of Realtors predicted would result in pricing 40,000 would-be homebuyers out of the market in 2017 alone-- 40,000 families that won't be buying furniture made in North Carolina, carpets made Pennsylvania, refrigerators made in Ohio or the grills, toasters, griddles, popcorn makers and convection ovens made by Star Manufacturing mad in Missouri. All those Trumpanzee voters...
|Made in Missouri|
This morning's NY Times tried helping its readers decals with the fact that the White House is now the country's biggest source of Fake News. Four more years to go.
President Trump used his first full day in office on Saturday to unleash a remarkably bitter attack on the news media, falsely accusing journalists of both inventing a rift between him and intelligence agencies and deliberately understating the size of his inauguration crowd.
In a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency intended to showcase his support for the intelligence community, Mr. Trump ignored his own repeated public statements criticizing the intelligence community, a group he compared to Nazis just over a week ago.
He also called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and he said that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration, a claim that photographs disproved.
Later, at the White House, he dispatched Sean Spicer, the press secretary, to the briefing room in the West Wing, where Mr. Spicer scolded reporters and made a series of false statements.
He said news organizations had deliberately misstated the size of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Friday in an attempt to sow divisions at a time when Mr. Trump was trying to unify the country, warning that the new administration would hold them to account.
The statements from the new president and his spokesman came as hundreds of thousands of people protested against Mr. Trump, a crowd that appeared to dwarf the one that gathered the day before when he was sworn in. It was a striking display of invective and grievance at the dawn of a presidency, usually a time when the White House works to set a tone of national unity and to build confidence in a new leader.
Instead, the president and his team appeared embattled and defensive, signaling that the pugnacious style Mr. Trump employed as a candidate will persist now that he has ascended to the nation’s highest office.
...Trump also took issue with news reports about the number of people who attended his inauguration, complaining that the news media used photographs of “an empty field” to make it seem as if his inauguration did not draw many people.
“We caught them in a beauty,” Mr. Trump said of the news media, “and I think they’re going to pay a big price.”
Mr. Spicer said that Mr. Trump had drawn “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration,” a statement that photographs clearly show to be false. Mr. Spicer said photographs of the inaugural ceremonies were deliberately framed “to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall,” although he provided no proof of either assertion.
Photographs of Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 and of Mr. Trump’s plainly showed that the crowd on Friday was significantly smaller, but Mr. Spicer attributed that disparity to new white ground coverings he said had caused empty areas to stand out and to security measures that had blocked people from entering the Mall.
...And he incorrectly claimed that ridership on Washington’s subway system was higher than on Inauguration Day in 2013. In reality, there were 782,000 riders that year, compared with 571,000 riders this year, according to figures from the Washington-area transit authority.
Mr. Spicer also said that security measures had been extended farther down the National Mall this year, preventing “hundreds of thousands of people” from viewing the ceremony. But the Secret Service said the measures were largely unchanged this year, and there were few reports of long lines or delays.
Commentary about the size of his inauguration crowd made Mr. Trump increasingly angry on Friday, according to several people familiar with his thinking.
On Saturday, Mr. Trump told his advisers that he wanted to push back hard on “dishonest media” coverage-- mostly referring to a Twitter post from a New York Times reporter showing side-by-side frames of Mr. Trump’s crowd and Mr. Obama’s in 2009. But most of Mr. Trump’s advisers urged him to focus on the responsibilities of his office during his first full day as president.
However, in his remarks at the C.I.A., he wandered off topic several times, at various points telling the crowd he felt no older than 39 (he is 70); reassuring anyone who questioned his intelligence by saying, “I’m, like, a smart person”; and musing out loud about how many intelligence workers backed his candidacy.
...“He has left the strong impression that he doesn’t trust the intelligence community and that he doesn’t have tremendous regard for their work,” Mark M. Lowenthal, a retired C.I.A. analyst, said of Mr. Trump. “The obvious thing to do is to counter that by saying, ‘I value you. I look forward to working with you.’”
“He called them Nazis,” Mr. Lowenthal added, referring to Mr. Trump’s characterization of the intelligence community. Mr. Lowenthal said Saturday’s visit should have been “a stroking expedition.”