We truly do live in amazing times, and not in a good way. While the White House press shop continues to hide its daily briefings from television cameras, Donald Trump still cannot resist basking in the attention of the press he pretends to loathe so much.
Trump has a habit of fielding unscheduled questions at White House photo-ops, as he did Wednesday morning during a “tribal, State, and local energy roundtable.”
After fielding several questions about the Republican Senate's vicious health care bill, however, one reporter stopped Trump in his tracks in telling fashion, while another demonstrated the press' destructiveness in following Trump down every rabbit hole:
REPORTER: Yesterday, Governor Perry said he still doesn't know if you believe in climate change, if you think it's a hoax —
TRUMP: Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks.
PRESS AIDE: Thanks press, thank you.
REPORTER: Mr. president, are you prepared to take any actual steps against Amazon, sir?
That second question is in reference to a nonsensical tweet Trump sent Wednesday morning, accusing Amazon of not paying something he calls “internet tax”:
Ironically, although Trump is immune to irony, Amazon has already begun collecting sales tax, making Trump's tweet actual fake news. What's disturbing is the reporter's willingness to follow Trump's premise, rather than call out his lie.
Far more disturbing is the first question, or Trump's reaction to it. His administration has left it a comically open question as to whether Trump still believes climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese, claiming it is one that they haven't discussed it with him.
Now, I'm not in the habit of overestimating Trump, but I really don't think he believes climate change is a hoax, and I also don't think this is another of his reality show teases. Trump is truly petrified to answer this question because he is in thrall to a group of voters who would consider it a betrayal for him to recognize reality, and it is this group of people to whom Trump's every political move is attuned.
I can think of no area of human life in which that prospect is not terrifying, save perhaps in the addition of bacon to everything.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.