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. However, it is chilling for a sitting president to engage in this type of unrelenting criticism of journalism.

    It’s not ‘chilling’. You’re anxious that the humbug of the times is been spoken of as humbug by people in authority. Next thing you know, they might start ridiculing law faculties.

  2. From another perspective it could be said that President Trump speaks on behalf of a large section of the voiceless population who believe that the mainstream media is contemptible and deserves to be addressed with insult and disrespect–in sort of a vicarious manner he achieves what they cannot.

    As to whether this sitting president acts “unpresidential” by his statements we could as a nation benefit from tossing out the political class from power and govern by and with the consent of the ordinary person. If such a manifestation reaches office and they occasionally adopt a vulgar line of speech so be it.

    1. Darren, you’re correct but for all the wrong reasons.

      There ‘are’ millions of angry Whites in small towns and outer suburbs who feel contempt for mainstream media. But most of those angry Whites follow right-wing media which encourages contempt towards mainstream sources.

      This phenomenon is not completely new or unique to the U.S. People in the hamlets have always been distrustful of big city elites. People in the hamlets are ‘out of the loop’ regarding decisions and new developments. They naturally resent the power of elites. Britons voting for Brexit harbored those resentments.

      But this idea that the president must be rude to mainstream media began with Donald Trump. And it’s a dangerously stupid concept! This country is polarized to the point where civil war is a creeping possibility. We don’t need a president stoking divisions! That is, in fact, the ‘last’ thing we need. It’s like pouring gasoline on a wildfire.

    2. I’m not sure what exactly a “political class” is, but the reality that the superstitious, ill-informed rubes and Pravda Faux News bots feel “left behind” for “reasons” doesn’t mean that we as a country have to pander to such nonsense. The reality is that these types just don’t like the facts are they are in real life, and don’t like how quickly the world is changing and what that means to their collective bucolic lives. Not liking the actual facts, they turn to messengers who will peddle something that soothes these “left behinds.” This pablum tells them that their lot in life is the fault of: 1) Democrats; 2) foreigners; 3) minorities; 4) women; 5) city slickers; 6) environmentalists; 7) smart people; 8) “progress”; and 9) etc. and fill in the blank. Nothing more. Their rampant gullibility is amply illustrated by the cohort which still hasn’t caught on the big con and that they’re the suckers.

      to darren

      1. out here in flyover we superstitious rubes are very well armed and hostile towards smarty pants liberals from big cities who know it all. best for you to stay in your urban enclave Mark M

        This song from Jimbo goes out to you Mark

        The Doors “The Wasp radio Texas”

        I wanna tell you ’bout Texas Radio and the Big Beat
        Comes out of the Virginia swamps
        Cool and slow with plenty of precision
        With a back beat narrow and hard to master

        Some call it heavenly in it’s brilliance
        Others, mean and ruthful of the Western dream
        I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft
        We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping
        This is the land where the Pharaoh died

        The Negroes in the forest brightly feathered
        They are saying, “Forget the night.
        Live with us in forests of azure.
        Out here on the perimeter there are no stars
        Out here we is stoned – immaculate.”

        Listen to this, and I’ll tell you ’bout the heartache
        I’ll tell you ’bout the heartache and the lose of God
        I’ll tell you ’bout the hopeless night
        The meager food for souls forgot
        I’ll tell you ’bout the maiden with raw iron soul

        I’ll tell you this
        No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn

        I’ll tell you ’bout Texas Radio and the Big Beat
        Soft drivin’, slow and mad, like some new language

        Now, listen to this, and I’ll tell you ’bout the Texas
        I’ll tell you ’bout the Texas Radio
        I’ll tell you ’bout the hopeless night
        Wandering the Western dream
        Tell you ’bout the maiden with raw iron soul

  3. Cable TV thrives on “controversy”. She baits him. He takes the bait. Controversy.

    Content created.

    Now cable TV gum flappers have something to obsess over.

    CNN: Can Trump’s presidency survive characterizing a question as “stupid”? Join our All-Star Panel as we discuss this “Stupidgate” bombshell report. Unprecedented. Could this be a turning point? Is this the beginning of the end of “our democracy”?

    1. Do you mean evidence of Russian collusion with Donald Trump in the 2016 election? It is impossible for there to be evidence of a conspiracy that did not occur – except that of a false nature which can be fabricated by communists whose driving principle is “…the end justifies the means.” Vladimir Putin is the prime beneficiary of the Kafkaesque “Mueller Inquisition.”

      Ben Franklin, we gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

  4. “Whitaker Thinks Marbury v Madison Was Wrongly Decided”

    “Ruth Marcus calls new Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker a crackpot and she’s dead right. Here’s just one example she cites. Whitaker thinks that Marbury v Madison was wrongly decided and that the Supreme Court does not get to decide what laws or actions are constitutional or not. Seriously.”

    1. The Supreme Court is inferior to the Constitution.

      The Supreme Court has no authority to modify the Constitution.

      The Supreme Court is not co-equal and it has only one duty.

      The Supreme Courts gets to decide if actions comport with the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution and if Justices don’t do precisely that, they must be impeached for corruption, nullification and treason as crimes of high office.

      “…courts…must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

  5. I agree with you, Prof. Turley.

    Both what the President said to Ms. Phillip and how he said it were unnecessary. His words and his (lack of) style damage the institution of the presidency and make him look like a spoiled brat.

    POTUS could have had a far more positive impact by shaking his head, saying nothing to Ms. Phillip, and walking away. But Mr. Trump is so thin-skinned, so eager to take offense at the slightest hint of a question he doesn’t like, that he habitually over-reacts and then gets personal with his interrogators. His real problem isn’t a reporter asking a fair question. His real problem is the volatile, dislikable, and out-of-control doofus looking back at him in the mirror.

    If this President can’t take the heat–and, increasingly, it appears to me that he cannot–then he ought to get out of the kitchen ASAP. Better yet, resign now and let Mr. Pence take over. In that situation, our country and its institutions would be much better off. However, this President is too self-centered to take selfless action that would do great things for America.

  6. Each incident must be judged on its own merits and in the context of the relentless. biased. vicious attacks on the President and the Presidency; which seem to have no end in sight. April was just plain rude. Not really a qualified, authentic journalist and blatantly racist. Yamiche asked a provocative question which the President had unequivocally answered many times and whose obvious intent was to embarrass and denigrate him. Not the worst of questions but of no import. She has a chance to be a reporter someday. Abby’s question was legitimate and potentially informative. She has real intellect and talent but is naïve, impressionable and manipulated. Jim was completely out of order for the umpteenth time; woefully unequipped for his job intellectually, ethically and professionally. Trump’s lifelong style is ill-suited to such a format, as everyone knows ad nauseam. Most accessible and candid President ever, but his audience and adversaries of pampered, unsavvy and unseasoned adolescents will never “get” him. Developed some highly effective strategies and tactics for his frenzied construction business which worked exceptionally well in that dog-eat-dog environment but cannot withstand the mores and scrutiny of a media generation that never got their hands dirty or suffered hardship. I speak and understand Trump very well having grown up in New York City streets a little before his time. When he called Haiti a s*****se country. I knew exactly what he meant and so did you! You and I would have used discreet, sophisticated. politically correct verbiage articulating the many reasons but in the end Trump’s single word truly said it all. Not excusing, condoning or encouraging his behavior but that’s who he is and he is incapable of changing. I wish it were different but it isn’t. He is a raging bull whose unique attributes and instincts are fearsome and dangerous but also have unlimited potential for good. The media have to stop being “picadors”, mocking and enraging President Trump, and become “matadors” deftly swaying and gracefully guiding him in the direction that is best for the bull, the matador and the common good.

    P.S. The bull doesn’t have to die!

    1. John, I understand what you’re saying, but must point out something:
      To my knowledge, our source for the “sh**hole countries” remark comes from Dick Durbin, who is about as trustworthy as The National Enquirer.

  7. “Chilling example?”

    Trump’s comment was inspirational, forthright and honest.

    “You can’t handle the truth!”

    – Colonel Nathan R. Jessup

    Abby Phillip’s was an insolent and sarcastic statement posed as rhetorical question by an artificial and fraudulent citizen; a parasitic

    affirmative action beneficiary and communist ideologue posing as a real “journalist.”

    Affirmative action and welfare trump stupidity every time…merit be damned.

    It was an entirely stupid question and she is a joke.

    What would Abby Phillip be without multiple pillars of support from the irrefutably unconstitutional American welfare state?

    Does Abby Phillip support the abrogation of unconstitutional “Affirmative Action Privilege?”

    Were we in Russia, China or Saudi Arabia, this ingrate would likely already have enjoyed a cup of tea laced with polonium-210, a tank in

    Tienanmen Square or a “bone saw.” Now you understand that the Founders provided Americans with “Free Dom” not “Free Stuff” as they

    freed Americans from monarchs and despots and established free speech, religion, press, assembly, habeas corpus, private property

    “…in exclusion of every other indivdual…” et al. The Founders distinctly did not enact unconstitutional welfare, quotas, affirmative action,

    forced busing, Obamacare, rent control, utility subsidies, WIC, HAMP, HARP, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc., etc., etc.

    Ben Franklin, we gave you “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

  8. This country was founded on a free press. But it’s clear from the comments here that Trump has tapped in to a segment of our population that hates anyone with expertise, with knowledge in some field that requires thought, intelligence and mental agility. Trump’s supporters have found a leader who hates as much as they do and hence will follow him anywhere. Trump is not the anti-Christ, but it’s a lot easier to see now that when the real one comes along he’ll have like-minded followers galore.

    1. Lois Lame…………You have it wrong about Trump supporters. And you seem to have an intolerance for those who don’t like BS..
      Trump supporters are tired of being called “haters” just because they do not march lock-step with the PC crowd. But critical thinkers always draw criticism from those appalled by it, as you seem to be.
      We’re not racists, we are not tribalists, we are not haters.
      We’re independent thinkers.
      You should try it.


    “As I recently wrote, both the media and Trump appear to thrive on this tension. 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”.

    Professor Turley, for the most part, makes a truthful effort to note Trump’s “chilling” boorishness. But he frames said observation in the context of a “bias against Trump in some coverage”. In this regard the professor suggests that Trump’s boorishness is partly justified. Yet Trump behaved in this boorish manner from the beginning of his campaign.

    It was clear, early in the 2016 Primaries, that Donald Trump had decidedly boorish tendencies. And women were often the targets of his boorishness. Trump infamously made off-color jokes about Megyn Kelly’s periods during a televised debate. Then, during the Democratic convention, Trump spent an entire week tweeting insults towards the former Miss Venezuela; an obscure figure of little relevance.

    The “Lock her up” chants were certainly boorish and targeted at a woman. During the second presidential debate, Trump repeatedly invaded Hillary’s personal space. In almost any corporate setting Trump’s behavior that night would have been considered grounds for dismissal (or demotion at the very least). Then finally, no one was terribly surprised, but shocked just the same, by the “Access Hollywood” tape.

    Therefore this idea that the media is partly responsible for Trump’s boorishness, ignores his long history. Trump was boorish from the start! Boorishness was his calling card as a Reality Star. “The Apprentice” was largely built around Trump’s boorishness.

  10. I’m always reading Napolitano’s and Turley’s opinions daily. Lawyers like to give the public the impression that the law is the law, and they are just reading what they see – as if they had no heart in the matter. I no longer believe this. I believe that both Napolitano and Turley are hoping in their hearts that Trump gets slammed. This is a “pick your virtue”, or pick your “rule of law” game. I’m grateful that the issues are brought up – they’re quite educational. The only question I have is if these two really know themselves or not.

  11. There is only one reason a reporter, especially a reporter from CNN, would ask that particular question.
    That type of question makes a mockery out of the “free press”. It’s done just to get a rise out of President Trump. And that’s mean-spirited. The “journalist” is just trying to gain notoriety and feed her inflated ego.
    I felt the same way about Megan Kelly at the first debate, asking that first question (about women) to candidate Trump. The question was meant to embarrass him, period, so he let her have it. That’s what you deserve when you are, supposedly, a professional and you’re trying to embarrass someone publicly.
    Professional journalists should stick to the job described in their contracts.
    No more. No less. Stop trying to show off. Stop being tattle-tales.

  12. Nobody should be asking questions of Mr Trump. He has no credible answers. He can’t remember what he was told yesterday. He should be treated like the psychiatric patient that he is. which means he should be treated politely and helped as much as possible, not threatened..

    1. Sam,…
      So you feel that Mueller should not expect answers to his questions, and should not have asked the questions the first place?
      (You did say “Nobody should be asking questions of Mr. Trump)😉
      Now on to the other part; “he should be treated politely and helped as much as possible, not threatened”.
      Immediately scrapping the Special Counsel investigation would remove a threat, but are Mueller and others willing to do that?😕
      So if Whitaker takes action to remove or reduce the threat/ stress of these extended investigations into Trump and those associated with him, could you support Whitaker’s actions as being in line with your recommendations?😊😂

      1. When words fail…– by all means say it with those dopey emoticons. This is to Mr. Nash.

        1. L.T. Anonymous,..
          After your petty complaint😭 about emojis, I took great pains😋 to adjust my use of them (^).
          So taking your emojiphobia😧 into account, I can reliably count on you to remind me how frequently I should use them.
          Especially in my comments to, or about, you.
          As in dealing with any other of your silly-ass complaints, I diligently😇 try to respond appropriately to your “emoji complaints”.😎

            1. Cindy,
              There are cases where emojis are particularly appropriate, as in comments to or about L.T. Anonymous.
              I try to use them often enough to irk LT Anonymous😡, but short of driving LTA completely over the edge😖.

          1. Emoticons/emojis appear to work well for people who just can’t find the right words — people who are limited in their ability to communicate with language.

            Of course, there are a few people, here, who should only use emoticons because they’ll never be able to find the right words — no matter how hard they might try. These types will need to sprinkle in the occasional “tee hee hee” — or something equally as juvenile — because it’s who they are.

            1. Well, emojis and other graphics can be a useful tool in trying to communicate TO people with reading disabilities, like L.T. Anonymous.
              The last set of emojis I downloaded for LTA includes shiny objects to maintain Anonymous’ interest and concentration.

              1. It’s obvious when you’ve used them because they stick out like a non-limp dick, but beyond that I don’t given them a millisecond of my time.

                1. Looks like you’ve spent more than “a millisecond of your time” on this burning, critical issue of emojis.😄😃
                  Again, I’m glad you found one of those “substantive issues” like this one to dwell on.
                  ( One previous post was by me, but posted as “anonymous)

              2. It’s actually meant to be “obvious” 😦in your case, LT Anonymous.
                For reasons I’ve already gone into again and again😴.
                One of your complaints has been a “lack of substance” in the comment threads.
                I’m glad you found a “substantive issue” like emojis that you can
                really sink your teeth into.😤

                1. “LT,” Tom Nash?

                  Spell it out. Spit it out.

                  Anyway — once in a blue moon (Nash would insert a blue moon, here), you’re right, Nash.

                  I should have stopped with this — my first comment about this weighty matter.

                  November 10, 2018 at 3:34 PM

                  When words fail…– by all means say it with those dopey emoticons. This is to Mr. Nash.

                  (You might want to get some rest, now, Mr. Nash, so you can tackle L4D’s comments in the early morning.)

  13. JT “chilling” your being a bit dramatic don’t you think. The question was stupid, sure the President should have said “Oh yea, I’m going to rein Mueller in and I’m going to tell CNN on national TV”. These people are not journalist and you very well know that. This clash between President Trump and the MSM will come to a halt the minute the MSM treats the guy just as they treated Obama. Obama deserved more scrutiny then President Trump ever needed.
    You and everyone here should be more concerned with the ever growing trouble from ANTIFA. I mentioned ANTIFA long ago here on this blog and no one even knew what the hades I was talking about.

    1. I haven’t seen or heard him clash with the Main Stream Media for two years or so. Seems like it’s always the progpagandists of the left or lame stream media or the Collective and other machine s

      Fox and the best blogs took over the Main Stream to the point that the most successful of the left had to imitate the new center from it’s original and stil valid home in the center of political discourse in our Constitutional Republic home and leave the space between Marx and Leinin to Pelosi and Schumer.

    2. Good post Zambini as President Trump KNOWS the “Liberal, Leftist Media are just out to make statements and condemn him NO MATTER WHAT.” It IS true that we have MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES AT HAND-Like the “Soros Paid Illegal Alien Invasion of America from So. America.”





      1. Please post more materials using all caps. I reinforces my smug sense of self-superiority over you and your ridiculously-uninformed ilk. Thanks for playing.

        this is to “I’m not really stupid, I just start drinking early on Saturdays” itsy

    3. Haha. But what about OBAMAAAAAAAAAAA! What, no more Benghazi hearings? What about Whitewater, Uranium something-something, the dead guy in the park, and the foreign-sounding chick with some computer stuff? Anything but the daily display of idiocy manifested by the day glo bozo. I get it.

      this is to “ya, he’s an imbecile and likely a traitor, to boot, but he promised to keeps the dusky folks in line” zambi

  14. This sort of angry response is telling. If Trump were confident in his skin he would have laughed it off with a snide remark at most. That it is getting under that orange skin shows that it is getting to him. The more it gets to him, the stupider he looks-if that is possible- and the better chance that enough Americans will see what a mistake he was and is and hopefully will not be.

    1. Can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen, and the house and our country.

      1. My country, by choice; as opposed to that which did not dribble down. There are those that came and deserve this country more than some who were born here. Those, in any country, who argue with the old, ‘if you don’t like it, why don’t you leave’ routine are those that this country, or any country, can do without. If you like it, stay. If you don’t like it, change it. What keeps coming out of you MA is telling. In my opinion, it would have been better if it were all dribble, so many years ago.

  15. It is a stupid question. Trump is never going to give any advance notice of what he is really going to do, and everyone knows it.

    1. It’s not a stupid question. It is a typical reporter’s question, one which would have been and has been asked to any politician since forever, in a country where freedom of the press and information are valued. What Trump is really saying is is “Don’t you know by now that I don’t value freedom of information, freedom of the press, or anyone tripping me up. I can trip myself up well enough.” What Trump is saying is ‘Don’t bother.”

      The fact of the matter is that Trump has designed an autocracy to a degree never before seen in the US. Trump has, for decades, acted the ‘holier than thou’ buffoon and Americans have gotten used to it. 40%+ of the voters have enabled this disgusting circus. Trump as the arrogant megalomaniac is the accepted persona of our President.

  16. Time to quit tempering remarks about Trumps hideous behavior as President and supposed leader of the free world

    1. Time to quit tempering remarks by the segment of the population who have no interest in living in the free world

  17. It was a stupid question. On one hand, of course Trump would like to rein Mueller. On the other hand, he’s politically savvy enough to not be seen as obviously doing it at this point. There the question is moot and the report knows it.

    This is just framing. It’s a question design to paint trump into a corner and frame him as either not reining mueller or lying about it (because none of the mainstream media believes trump answers any question honest, even when he does).

    Trump calling this out as a stupid question appeals to his base that believes the media is out to get him. Which they are.

    Why is someone as smart as you are being so obtuse?

    1. A stupid question is one that has been asked for eight or ten times a day for over a week or however long it’s been by people with the intellectual capabiity of zero and the education of Motor Mouth Harris.

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