A day after Republicans lost more seats at the state and national level since Watergate, President Donald Trump refused to take any public blame for the midterm elections. Instead of doing what President Clinton, Bush, and Obama did when their party got thumped in the midterms, Trump doubled down claiming complete victory and then quickly changed the subject. Like it or not, the President is a master at changing the media narrative.
The President’s almost hour and a half press conference was combative, lacked substance, and full of babble. It was a combination of politics and professional wrestling. This is just how the President likes it. He again got the news off the midterms being negative and back on his antics.
Later in the afternoon, the President was at work again. This time, the White House released the resignation letter of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Sessions letter did not have a date on it and clearly states that the President asked for the resignation. Think about just the first part of my last sentence. The letter did not have a date. The White House had a huge news story in the bullpen waiting for a perfect strategic time to release it. That is strong public relations.
Finally, the White House announced that the Press Office was revoking the press credential of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. Acosta had earlier in the day had an incident with a White House intern when the CNN reporter tried to ask a follow-up question at the lengthy press conference. Acosta does grandstand and the White House has the right to revoke any credential. However, when you review the video, it seems like the White House is blowing this whole incident up for political reasons. This is the perfect example of making a mountain out of a molehill.
When the President does not like the press coverage, he knows how the change the focus. He knows the press cannot help but go after every smoke bomb he puts out. The media and President have a co-dependent relationship. President Trump craves the attention and the media craves the ratings. Trump knows this. Every time the White House sets its hair on fire, they know it will be covered. The President has been doing this since the 2016 campaign. Trump’s pattern when he doesn’t like the coverage is to say or tweet something outrageous and down the rabbit hole the media goes. President Trump is no Rhodes Scholar but he remains a genius at media manipulation.