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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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