President Donald Trump on Monday defied a plan by his aides to refocus efforts on the economy by continuing his attacks on the media after his disastrous advice on injecting disinfectant to fight the coronavirus was debunked.
Trump started his Monday where he left off on Sunday, firing off a storm of angry tweets related to the press coverage of his presidency.
‘There has never been, in the history of our Country, a more vicious or hostile Lamestream Media than there is right now, even in the midst of a National Emergency, the Invisible Enemy!,’ the president tweeted.
‘FAKE NEWS, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!,’ he added.
Trump aides had planned his Monday schedule to focus on the president at work, holding a briefing with governors and then meeting in the Cabinet room with industry executives on their response to the coronavirus.
The new public relations campaign would include less White House briefings and more images of Trump as president.
While there is a press briefing scheduled for 5 p.m., White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said it could be canceled.
‘Today we are not tracking a briefing,’ she told Fox News Monday morning. ‘There will be a press avail, and there will be briefings throughout other portions of the week.’
The press availability she was referring to likely meant the president’s meeting with industry executives, which is listed on his schedule for 4 p.m.
White House will shift focus to Donald Trump’s work on rebuilding the economy after last week’s tough press briefings and president’s weekend twitter rant
President Trump will meet with industry CEOs at White House on Monday – above he met with healthcare executives in the Cabinet room on April 14
Officials will push to show President Trump at work such as the above image of President Trump at a March 6 meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook and White House advisor Ivanka Trump
‘What the American people need from the president now is for him to appear at some of these briefings off the top, 10 or 15 minutes of announcing whatever needs to be announced that day, take a question or two from the press, and then leave the rest of it to the vice president and the people who are the relevant experts that day,’ said Chris Christie, the former Republican governor of New Jersey who is a close Trump ally.
‘I think an hour and a half or two hours of anybody every day is not going to be great for their political standing no matter who they are and what they do. The American people are shut in for the most part and they don’t need to see the same person every day for two hours. So I think the president can scale that back, still be a presence, communicating important things, but not having to be on for an hour and a half or two hours,’ he said Monday morning on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’
The push to show President Trump at work is an attempt by officials to restart after a tough week.
The president was decried for Thursday musings about injecting disinfectant to fight the coronavirus, angrily walked out of Friday’s press briefing without taking questions, and spent Sunday in twitter furor about his presidency is being portrayed.
But the president’s Monday meetings are also listed as closed press events – meaning no cameras will be let in to capture the images of Trump.
That could change of course but letting in reporters raises another risk: Trump going off script.
It’s a tendency that happens frequently in the president’s daily press briefings, where he takes questions for up to two hours on a variety of subjects and offers new ideas without any vetting.
Friday’s briefing – where Trump made a statement but answered no questions – had a different tone.
‘I think you saw a different briefing [Friday] where the president didn’t take questions. We didn’t have a two-hour-long press conference that went off into different topics. And perhaps that’s indicating a different strategy. And I think maybe some of his advisers are suggesting that maybe a different communication policy might be more helpful,’ Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’
Relations between the president and the press grew so tense the White House held no on camera briefings over the weekend after officials tried – and failed – to move a CNN reporter from her front row seat at Friday’s briefing to the back of the room.
But the best-laid plans can go off track with Trump, who calls his own shots.
Trump spent much of Sunday afternoon lobbying Twitter attacks – issuing more than 30 tweets and retweets that targeted the media, high-profile personalities and Democrats. All while Trump argued he is ‘the hardest working President in history.’
‘The people that know me and know the history of our Country say that I am the hardest working President in history,’ Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. ‘I don’t know about that, but I am a hard worker and have probably gotten more done in the first 3 1/2 years than any President in history. The Fake News hates it!’
Only joking? Donald Trump’s defense against a tide of criticism for his bizarre outburst advocating injecting disinfectant and using UV light to treat coronavirus was unveiled in the Oval Office: to claim it was sarcastic. But then he went on to double down on his theories anyway
The president also went on a rant against reporters who received a ‘Noble prize’ for their reporting on the Russian investigations. Trump was likely referring to the Noble Prize and probably was referring to the Pulitzer – the highest honor in journalism, which was given to the White House reporting teams at The New York Times and The Washington Post for their work covering the Russia probes.
‘When will all of the ‘reporters’ who have received Noble Prizes for their work on Russia, Russia, Russia, only to have been proven totally wrong (and, in fact, it was the other side who committed the crimes), be turning back their cherished ‘Nobles’ so that they can be given to the REAL REPORTERS & JOURNALISTS who got it right,’ Trump wrote.
‘I can give the Committee a very comprehensive list,’ he added. ‘When will the Noble Committee DEMAND the Prizes back, especially since they were gotten under fraud? The reporters and Lamestream Media knew the truth all along.’
‘Lawsuits should be brought against all, including the Fake News Organizations, to rectify this terrible injustice. For all of the great lawyers out there, do we have any takers? When will the Noble Committee Act? Better be fast!’ Trump wrote.
The president mistakenly mixed up Nobel prizes with Pulitzers and also misspelled Nobel in another series of tweets
Trump continued to target The New York Times for a story that suggested he wasn’t doing much work
President Trump has once against blamed others for not understanding the concept of sarcasm after a flurry of tweets were sent by the president on Sunday afternoon
After several online commentators noted the errors in the tweets, they disappeared from Trump’s Twitter feed.
The president later wrote he was being sarcastic.
‘Does anybody get the meaning of what a so-called Noble (not Nobel) Prize is, especially as it pertains to Reporters and Journalists? Noble is defined as, ‘having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.’ Does sarcasm ever work?’ he tweeted.
Sarcasm was the defense Trump used when asked to explain comments he made at Thursday’s press briefing, where he suggested officials examine whether injecting disinfectant into a person could help fight the coronavirus.
‘I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it’d be interesting to check that,’ he said.
The medical community was quick to point out the dangers of such advice and warned people not to follow it.
The next day Trump said he was being sarcastic.
‘I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you just to see what would happen,’ the president said.