The President Asserted Authoritarian Powers at Monday’s Briefing
The president’s press briefings have now lost whatever shred of legitimacy they purported to have. In an especially unhinged session, the president made it clear that his priority was to make a full-throated defense not for the American people, but for his own reputation.
The briefing began with an unusual video that could have been straight out of Russian state TV. The odd Powerpoint-style video presented a revisionist history of a media who downplayed the risks of the coronavirus with a president who took early action.
The obvious problem? The video was riddled with deceptive edits, lies and misinformation.
In one such case, the video played audio from NYTimes writer Maggie Haberman seemingly saying that Trump took action despite backlash from Democrats and Republicans.
Haberman quickly took to Twitter to correct the record, stating, “[The White House’s] use of the audio is misleading – I went on to say I said he treated that travel limitation as a Mission Accomplished moment… And then he did basically nothing for over a month.”
Even Trump’s own propaganda video seems to show that the president sat idly for nearly one whole month. The video shows a gap in the presents response to the virus, which lasted from February 6 all the way until March 2.
The ‘Trump Meltdown’ didn’t end there.
CNN cut away early from the president’s video – essentially a campaign ad in the midst of a briefing regarding a national crisis. MSNBC, on the other hand, cut away right when the video ended. A frustrated Ari Melber said they will “avoid airing anymore of the White House briefing until it returns to what it’s supposed to be.”
In a moment that will define this presidency, Trump said perhaps the most dangerous statement ever uttered by any President of the United States. When asked about Trump’s authority to open up the economy despite pushback from governors, Trump claimed, “If someone’s the President of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be.”
As Trump asserts authoritarian powers, we now enter unprecedented territory as a nation.
With a complicit Republican senate, it’s clear we’ll have one final chance to save America this November. The stakes have never been higher.