Trump Team Still Doesn’t Seem to Understand They’re in the White House Now

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I went to lunch, did a bit of shopping, and came home. Elapsed time: about 90 minutes. In that span:

  • President Trump endorsed a plan for a 20 percent tax on imports from all countries we’re running a trade deficit with.
  • Sean Spicer said Mexico’s portion of the tax would pay for the wall.
  • Spicer then said this wouldn’t raise prices for American consumers, though it quite plainly would.
  • Finally, a few minutes later, Spicer reversed himself and said the 20 percent tax is not a policy proposal after all, merely an example of how we might pay for the wall.

As of now, no one really knows what any of this means. The Trump team still doesn’t seem to get that they’re in the effing White House now. What they say matters. You don’t just toss out any random shit that comes to mind.

In the meantime, Steve Bannon took to the New York Times to up the ante on the White House war with the media:

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call. “I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

….Mr. Bannon, who rarely grants interviews to journalists outside of Breitbart News, the provocative right-wing website he ran until last August, was echoing comments by Mr. Trump this weekend, when the president said he was in “a running war” with the media and called journalists “among the most dishonest people on earth.”

Actually, I think we all understand just fine why Donald Trump is president: because he ran a racist, boorish, epically mendacious campaign and Republicans all decided to go along with it. And even that wouldn’t have been enough if Trump hadn’t gotten some additional help from his pals James Comey and Vladimir Putin. In any case, to the extent that the media is dedicated to exposing lies and reporting the truth, it is indeed the opposition party to people like Bannon.

Then there’s this:

Finally, if you need a bit of levity to make up for all the rest of this, our friends at Public Policy Polling have released yet another of their entertaining trolls:

Then again, I suppose this isn’t really funny. Here’s my guess: despite more than a year of spittle-flecked fury at Hillary Clinton for using a private email server, most Trump voters probably don’t even know what a private server is. Nor do they care. It was just a buzzword that somehow meant Hillary was a crook.

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GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

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So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

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