Tuesday, June 30, 2020


NBC News reports:
President Donald Trump set off a "five-alarm fire" in the White House on Sunday morning after he retweeted a video of one of his supporters saying "white power," according to two White House officials.

The video remained on the president's Twitter page, where he has 82 million followers, for more than three hours because White House officials couldn't reach him to ask him to delete it, the two officials said. The president was at his golf club in Virginia and had put his phone down, the officials said.
Are they really telling us that the president of the United States might be unreachable at times when he's golfing? Are they telling us that if, for instance, hijacked planes were headed toward a New York skyscraper, the Pentagon, and some other target in D.C., the president might be incommunicado for several hours because he left his iPhone in his locker? Seriously?

Did the Secret Service agents accompanying Trump also leave their phones in the locker room? What about Lindsey Graham? He was with Trump -- did he not have his cell with him either?

This comes at the same time that Carl Bernstein is reporting on Trump's disdain for U.S. allies such as Germany's Angela Merkel and excessive fondness for strongmen such as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has become one of Trump's favorite phone friends.
By far the greatest number of Trump's telephone discussions with an individual head of state were with Erdogan, who sometimes phoned the White House at least twice a week and was put through directly to the President on standing orders from Trump, according to the sources....

On some occasions Erdogan reached him on the golf course and Trump would delay play while the two spoke at length.
To be fair, if any White House would have an unreachable president, it would be this one -- Trump might leave his phone in a locker and staffers might be too stupid to try calling his Secret Service detail or golf partner. (Maybe someone should have called Erdogan and asked him to reach the president.)

But The Washington Post has a different account of what took place:
Senior staffers quickly conferred over the phone and then began trying to reach the president to convey their concerns about the tweet. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, son-in-law Jared Kushner and other senior advisers spoke with president, said several people familiar with the discussions....

Roughly three hours later, the president gave the go-ahead to delete his incendiary tweet — moved, in large part, by the public calls from Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s only black Republican, to do just that, aides said.
In this version, aides did reach him -- but he insisted on leaving the tweet up for several hours (because it seemed to him like such a solid piece of lib ownage that he couldn't understand why he should take it down), and finally they had to scramble to find one of the few black people he respects, Tim Scott, who changed his mind.

This is the version of the story they think makes them look better.


Reporters at yesterday's gaggle missed an opportunity to troll the president, or at least to troll his trollish press secretary.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning, McEnany said Trump hadn’t heard the “white power” shout but never condemned the language, saying, “His point in tweeting out that video was to stand with his supporters, who are oftentimes demonized.”

She was more explicit during a news conference later in the day, saying that while Trump did listen to the video before sharing it on Twitter, “he did not hear that particular phrase.”
My question at that moment woud have been: "So, should the American people be concerned that the president might have a hearing problem?"

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