Trump Attacks Reporter For Merely Asking About Reining In Mueller

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_cropped200px-Cnn.svgI have been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s treatment of the media and his personal attacks on journalists.  A chilling example is his response to CNN’s Abby Phillip when she merely (and reasonably) asked if Trump wanted to “rein in” Mueller with his appointment of Matt Whitaker. It was not just a relevant question but the one most asked by journalists of all of the networks from Fox to CNN to BBC.  Yet, Trump called it a “stupid” question and then attacked Phillip’s overall performance.

Trump said that Phillip “asks a lot of stupid questions” before walking away.

I have previously criticized the conduct and tenor of some of the questions from figures like Jim Acosta. However, I believe the White House is out of line in his suspension of access and this attack on Phillip is grossly unfair.  Even Republicans have expressed concern about the Whitaker appointment.

As I recently wrote, both the media and Trump appear to thrive on this tension. (Notably, Acosta’s Twitter following has soared to over a million).  However, it is chilling for a sitting president to engage in this type of unrelenting criticism of journalism.  There are legitimate objections to be made about the bias against Trump in some coverage but this angry response entirely missed its mark.

What do you think?

94 thoughts on “Trump Attacks Reporter For Merely Asking About Reining In Mueller”

  1. I’ll split the difference and fall both ways on this issue.

    I am bored with all these media questions about whether President Trump will act to shut down the (in my opinion) invalid Muller investigation. Every time he comments about it, he is being subjected to press inquiries about his actions. When he properly appoints an Acting Attorney General (at a time when the Senate is not in session), there is endless media speculation that he made the appointment specifically to quash the investigation. And so on.

    I also think badgering of reporters for asking questions is improper. I would prefer that President Trump instead respond with, “That question has already been asked and answered.”

    I did not think the subsequent revocation of Jim Acosta’s press pass was handled correctly. My preferred way would have been to suggest to CNN that they send a different reporter to cover the White House, and not carry the issue further. In Trump’s position, if CNN continued to rely upon Acosta as their White House correspondent, I would have refused to allow him any questions in the briefing room.

  2. Just a slight deviation.
    Patriotism presupposes Nationalism.
    Of course the French always had difficulty
    with understanding our language.

  3. If the President wants the press to report more nicely about him, he should stop telling lies and tell the truth. As for hard questions, well, they’re just doing their job and he should show them some respect and stop calling them fake news for calling out his lies.

    1. Of course it was a stupid question; look at previous published reports of the Trump White House trying to “shake loose” Mueller from the investigation.
      Given the more extreme measures previously taken to “rein in” or “shake loose” Mueller, the Whitaker appointment was just another, milder effort to combat the investigation.

  4. Trump is so firmly esconced in the heads of these pompous asses that they fall all over themselves trying to fight back. In the process, they drop their masks of objectivity to reveal how disgusting they truly are, Trump may be a jerk but he’s speaking truth to power which is rarely a bad thing. Give ‘em Hell, Donald. We love their comeuppance.


    My mother often wondered why TV producers couldn’t create shows about a ‘normal’ families. The question stumped me as a kid. ‘Didn’t the TV networks know how normal families lived?”

    But our house wasn’t normal; it was large and tasteful. Semi-mansions from the 1910’s stood for several blocks. That was normal for us but not an average neighborhood. Normal families lived in newer, smaller homes.

    Our concept of ‘normal family’ is purely subjective. A host of different factors determine perceptions. Our socio-Economic class, geographic region, religious and ethnic bonds shape who we are.

    Mainstream news sources face similar dynamics; crafting narratives to connect with ‘normal’ Americans. ‘Normal Americans (like ‘normal families’) is only subjective.

    Mainstream news can only strive for broad demographics: educated consumers ages 30’s to 50’s. People in metro regions with disposable incomes. They are most attractive to sponsors of news.

    These demographics are politically moderate. The reason is quite simple: ‘Most Americans live in the 20 largest states’. And that’s especially true with educated consumers. They are disproportionally based in metro regions.

    This explains why mainstream news has a ‘liberal bias’. Its target audience is more urban, educated and female than typical Republicans. For this reason mainstream news seems oblivious to conservatives.

    Therefore Trump supporters will never be happy with mainstream news. It’s not produced for them! Real journalists don’t pander to provincial markets. Simple narratives are the trade of right-wing media. Their numbers most appreciate Trump’s simple views.

    1. This explains why mainstream news has a ‘liberal bias’. Its target audience is more urban, educated and female than typical Republicans. For this reason mainstream news seems oblivious to conservatives.

      No, it has a liberal bias due to who is recruited to work in the news business. The Correct the Record shmucks aren’t getting their money’s worth out of you.


      white people: they don’t like diversity

      american mass media: they dont like white people.

      Flyover land: a safer place to live than LA and NYC

      white flight: a problem for cities with eroding tax bases

      city solutions: insult white people and tax them harder

      America: unsustainable.
      Trump was a basket of solutions to help hold things together a while but Dems don’t even see the problem.

  6. Off topic but well worth the time to contemplate:

    Updates to the limits to growth, finally!
    Joshua Spodek
    2017 Dec 26

    1. oh that’s very close to the topic of a lot of these things

      the urban megapolis is unsustainable under any conditions which would entail:

      mass outbreak of communicable disease
      persistent rioting on the scale of the arab spring
      over a few days interruption in mass shipment of food
      one day’s interruption in supply of potable water
      one days interruption in electricity

      in flyover we are more “Resilient” to exigent circumstances like that

      back to the megapolis. for you global warming advocates, how many megapolis areas will be swamped within 20 years?

      how about moonbeam– maybe he’s right about fires.

      maybe that’s why they want to remake america. to take flyover away from the greedy white kulak white folks, the rubes Mark M talks about, and give it to the relocated cosmopolites who will come long after the former hipsters up and leave before them

    1. Key excerpts from the Reuters article:

      “The decision prompted a rash of criticism on Twitter, with Nicholas Soames, a British member of parliament who is a grandson of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, saying that Trump was dishonoring U.S. servicemen.

      “”They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to the Fallen,” Soames wrote on Twitter.”

      “Ben Rhodes, who served as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications under President Barack Obama, said the excuse about the inclement weather did not stand up.

      ““I helped plan all of President Obama’s trips for 8 years,” he wrote on Twitter. “There is always a rain option. Always.””

      (It was probably all about Trump’s “hair” — or whatever that stuff is that sits atop his head.

    2. Cheap shot. But that’s all liberals do any more. Secret Service makes that call. The fact that an Obama buddy would criticize it is of no surprise.

  7. Here’s my advice to the Press – and its friends – who can dish it out, but can’t take it. If you can’t stand the heat, get out the kitchen.

    If a couple of words of mild criticism from a President, you obviously hate and despise, causes you the vapors and prevents you from doing your job….

    Get another job. And let an adult with a backbone do it.

    1. According to ‘you’, Ocean, journalists have a responsibility to respect Donald Trump. It don’t work like that!

      Journalists have a responsibility to report what the president says and does each day. Any statement on camera is a potential story. And Tweets certainly count as legitimate news. In these two areas Trump creates reams of negative coverage.

      By uttering false statements, on a casual basis, Trump makes Journalists report the factual truth. Then it appears like journalists are hostile to Trump. Which could be Trump’s intention. ‘He wants his supporters to hate the mainstream media’.

      Only evil leaders encourage hatred of the media. Especially when they utter false statements all the time. Common sense should tell us to recognize that evil. No honorable president wages war on the truth.

  8. Its about time a President took these self-important jackasses down a notch. No one has return politeness for rudeness – or handle the press with “Respect” when receiving none.

    The WH press corps exists for one purpose: To provide the public with information about the President. They don’t exist to debate the President, or provide DNC talking points to the American Public.

    Mr. Phillips is quite simply, nobody. He only becomes important when he acts as a conveyor belt of information from the President to the American people. If he can’t do that, and be respectful, or intelligent, he should leave.

  9. Professor Turley says, “However, it is chilling for a sitting president to engage in this type of unrelenting criticism of journalism.” I cannot think of anyone in the media who ever has shown any indication of being “chilled” by any thing President Trump has said.

    Aside from the lack of evidence that anyone has been chilled, the column raises an interesting question. Except in a few instances, no one in the media has ever called down one of their own for for more than two years worth of really over the top, mean spirited comments about President Trump or Mrs. Trump. Since the day President Trump announced his candidacy, the vast majority of the media, including those in the “main stream” has treated him like a pariah and the “news” stories are written and reported accordingly. Since this appears to be the new acceptable journalistic standard, are we not allowed to criticize the media for its embrace of this standard? Yes, a free press is essential to a free society, but that freedom carries with it the responsibility to be at least somewhat objective; otherwise, the free press is nothing more than a propaganda organ for those in their favor. When President Trump announced the truly historic trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, not a single network carried it as a lead story on their web pages. Two of the three did not carry it at all. And, on that day, CNN had eight or nine negative Trump stories on its webpage and not a single word about the agreement. I think the President has every right to be highly critical of journalism as it is today. In fact, it seems to me that those who do not criticize strongly this type of behavior are enablers of the corruption of our free press rather than champions of free speech.

    1. Unfortunately for the ball-baggers of the day glo bozo, the press doesn’t subscribe to the same sycophantic regard for the utter depravity which currently occupies the white house. While you, as one of the gullible rubes, dupes, klan wannabees, pocket-traitors or grifters on the make are obviously one of those ball-baggers, I would invite you to pull your head out and comprehend that the free press is supposed to ask difficult questions of the public’s servants. Your pathetic attempts to find something, anything that this utter buffoon has accomplished merely reflects the (thankfully) incompetence of your hero. While I understand that you likely are thrilled that your wannabee autocrat is trying like hell to use the machinery of government to keep “those people” from participating on an equal basis in our country’s promise, you, like most of your ilk, are neglecting that most important of questions: “what is that ticking sound?”

      this is to “he shouldn’t have to honor the Bill of Rights like he swore to” lawyermostly

      1. Just by the way you started your comment, my reaction was immediately “this is the comment of an ignorant person, don’t waste your time”.

        1. And?

          this is to “I don’t recall asking for your opinion, to read my post, or even continue living” pammie

          1. what’s that mean slanderer Mark M, you don’t want Pam to “continue living?” now you’re stepping it up a notch from obscene and defamatory to advocating what?

      2. ball bagger is a defamatory and obscene insult to many users of this website. nobody here has probably even met trump let alone mouth stimulated his scrotum.

        mark m continues his obscene homophobic slanders apace.

    2. Turley claims: “There are legitimate objections to be made about the bias against Trump in some coverage….” Honestlawyermostly claims that the media make “mean spirited comments. and have treated him like a pariah…”

      I really don’t know what planet either of you occupy, but other than Faux News, the ultimate propaganda arm of the extreme right, media accurately report facts about Trump. Those facts make him look bad because he IS bad. He engages in childish name-calling and espouses racist, xenophobic and misogynistic views that are un-American, which is why most voters voted against him. He lies constantly, every single day. He has a pathetic need for adulation, so we taxpayers shell out millions for him to travel around so he can receive the cheers of his deplorables. He verbally attacks anyone who isn’t one of his fans, which is most people, including the heads of most governments, and media when they ask him questions he doesn’t like. He IS a pariah and an embarrassment. What is mean-spirited about pointing out that a caravan of homeless people, 900 miles away, do not constitute an imminent threat, and that this claim was made only to pander to xenophobia and racism of the non-college educated whites who make up his base, prior to the midterm elections?

      His third wife, who stayed beyond her visa, and therefore violated immigration laws, posed naked for soft-core lesbian photographs. His campaign lied about her education, claiming first that she was an engineer, and then an architect, but she never attended university. There’s nothing wrong with not attending university, except when someone lies and says the did. She is the poster child for chain migration: both of her parents now live in the U.S. because of it. She is vain, shallow and a hypocrite: her alleged first lady project is to abolish bullying. Why not start at home, with the most prominent bully on the planet? Her husband made a fool of her by cavorting with porn stars and Playboy models, and then paid them off, but she shows up in her designer duds, performing as the accessory that she is. Neither one of them is a role model for children or anyone else. They are both the ugly Americans: shallow, hypocritical, un-American, and that is the truth, which is why most Americans do not approve of either of them.

      The media do not exist to praise the fat rodeo clown, but to speak truth to power, which they do every day. How about the historic, growing deficit thanks to tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy? Are the media supposed to ignore this, but praise the miniscule, insignificant tax cuts that apply to most Americans? How about the Republican plan to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, to pay for the tax cuts, and the implications of this for most people? Are the media supposed to overlook this, so Fatso can receive praise for cutting taxes? How about lying that the economy would grow because tax cuts would stimulate growth, which was a lie then and time has proven is not the case? How about the tariffs and how they will cause a huge rise in the cost of goods that many Americans purchase every day? Supposed to overlook that, too?


    This article, by April Ryan of the American Urban Radio Network, documents the number of insults Trump has hurled at Blacks; especially Black women.

    In all fairness one could argue that Trump is insulting to everyone. Which is absolutely true! But insulting boors like Trump cause misunderstandings. People tend to think he’s insulting to ‘them’!

    1. documents the number of insults Trump has hurled at Blacks; especially Black women.

      Peter Shill fancies black women qua black women are Ladies of the Manor and must not be subject to insults under any circumstances.

      1. No, Tabby, that’s not what I’m saying.

        I”m saying when the president has a habit of insulting everyone, people think he’s insulting ‘them’.

        1. He’s not responsible for your framing or other people’s fantasies, Peter.

    2. It was a dumb question about his use of the term nationalist. The definition is one who believes in support of their own nation. When he used the term he even explained the true definition so one would have to first take it out of context, second, assume his intention was to signal he is a racist and third, make a rather large jump to that conclusion. The liberal press are the ones that have conflated that people of European decent who are anti-globalist are by definition white nationalists and therefore equals racist. That in itself is stupid. Her question was a waste of a good chance to ask a legitimate question of something important. I feel his pain and rolled my eyes as I heard that question roll off her tongue and thought the very same thing. What a stupid question. I think he has been more than patient with the press. He has answered more press questions than most presidents and despite the fact that he has a diverse cabinet and more women in high places than any other president he is labeled a racist and sexist by this press corp. He should just stop the press sessions and take a play out of Obama’s play book and only give interviews to friendly reporters.

      1. Wrong. 1) You are unlikely to be educated in any significant way, so you are unaware of the historical and discriminatory baggage associated with “globalist.” It is commonly recognized as a reference to the “Jewish Cabal” and is a dog-whistle for those who hate Jews–such as the white supremacists, neo-nazis and skinheads–and apparently some republicans. 2) The day glo bozo is rightfully considered a racist because he acts and talks like one. Recall the “there were good people on both sides” of the white supremacists’ rally in Virginia. Lending support and credence to white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-nazis and skinheads is a ‘fair and unbalanced” way to earn the label of racist. 3) The day glo bozo is rightfully considered a sexist because he acts and talks like one. Recall that during his campaign it was revealed that he admitted to often sexually assaulting women by grabbing their genitals without consent. Recall that his references to women are most likely to be in regards to their physical appearance or intelligence. The orange buffoon doesn’t comment on males in this way. These actions and statements are likewise a “fair and unbalanced” way to earn the label of sexists. Finally, it is manifestly within the job description of the free press to ask difficult questions of the public’s servants. It’s clear you don’t prefer such questions of the day glo bozo because of his remarkable inability to even remotely adopt any presidential manner or bearing through which he comes off looking like the cretin that he is. Pro tip: merely because hannity claims it’s “the media” who challenges the words and actions of the day glo bozo doesn’t make it true. Much more than half of your fellow Americans do too. In fact, since so very many authentic American patriots challenge the buffoon’s acts and words and represented that challenge by voting so last week, you’ll soon see measure of the day glo bozo’s utter depravity when the new Congress gets sworn in and hearing season begins.

        this is to “get your popcorn ready” pammie

  11. What do I think?
    Trump, Trump bo bump…
    Banana fanna fo fump.
    Fee fi mo mump…

    If the first to a holes are aways the same…
    You kick them both and say the name..
    Like Donald, Ronald, f so honald…
    Mary, Mary is so hairy..
    That’s the only rule that is contrary…

    1. Song sung at Whitehouse:

      Oh ho say can you peeee?
      By the dawn’s early light….
      What so proudly we hail…
      At the twighlights last ringing…
      And the rockets red glare…
      The Trumps bursting in air..
      Gives proof through the night…
      That the flag is still there…

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