Tinpot Administration Is Apparently 'Building Dossiers' On Journalists Who Criticize Trump
from the referred-to-the-House-Committee-on-Unamerican-Activities dept
President Trump openly admires authoritarians. It appears he believes he was being elected dictator rather than president, and has been openly bitter about his perceived lack of power ever since. The world leaders he enjoys talking to most — Vladimir Putin, Mohammad bin Salman, Recep Erdogan — are all notorious thugs who punish critics, dissidents, and anyone else who steps a little out of line.
Trump envies that power. He spends most of his phone time trying to impress a collection of international asshats. And he embarrasses himself (and us by proxy) when speaking about his favorite shitheels in public. Just recently, Trump spent part of his meeting with an American pastor recently freed from a Turkish prison praising the man who had put him there.
“I have to say that, to me, President Erdoğan was very good,” Trump told [jailed pastor Andrew] Brunson. “And I know they had you scheduled for a long time, and you were a very innocent person, and he ultimately, after we had a few conversations, he agreed. So we appreciate that, and we appreciate the people of Turkey.”
Like Erdogan, Trump appreciates at least one person in Turkey: Recep Erdogan. Those two are aligned there. They’re also aligned in their desire to punish their critics, even as they preside over countries that have enshrined free speech and freedom of the press. (Yes, even Turkey has a Constitution that name-checks freedom of expression. It has been ignored for decades.)
In Turkey, this hallowed right has been hollowed out, moving Turkey to the top of the “Most Journalists Jailed” list. Here in the United States, we’re not quite up to jailing journalists. But we are placing them under surveillance. And in the latest free speech chilling news emerging from the Trump administration, the White House is building an “ENEMIES” list filled with journalists.
In a statement, White House spokesperson Judd Deere accused The Washington Post of “blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization” and demanded “it must stop.”
“Please be advised that we are building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people,” Deere said.
This was unveiled in Farenthold’s latest piece for the Washington Post, exposing the funneling of federal tax dollars to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and other properties — places where the president spends an inordinate amount of time. According to Farenthold’s report, at least $900,000 in taxpayer funds have been spent at Trump businesses, much of it for the Secret Service agents who must accompany Trump wherever he goes. Trump heads to his own properties when away from the White House. And he does this frequently: 271 times since he took office, according to this report. It’s a wonder the price tag isn’t even higher, considering the Trump Organization tacks on things like daily “resort fees” and $1,300 “furniture removal charges” to the bills taxpayers are footing,
The White House — which should be fully separated from Trump’s personal business ventures (as Trump promised to do shortly after being elected) — is targeting journalists for digging into the Trump Organization and its federal “guests.” It’s not a jailing but it’s a still a threat — one that seems completely out of place in the Land of the Free where speaking about political issues is at the top of the list of things protected by the First Amendment.
It appears Trump regrets taking the top job in a nation that shields his worst enemies from government censorship and prosecution. But there’s nothing preventing him from making them miserable. And when you’re someone who appears indifferent to everything — including bad optics — why not compile a bunch of info White House officials can hate read whenever they feel “oppressed” by the people they serve.