Yesterday, an Op-Ed written by an anonymous top official in the Trump administration was published by The New York Times. It revealed that the White House is a chaotic mess, with aides carving out little fiefdoms within the executive branch by manipulating the president, ignoring his orders at times, and controlling the flow of information that reaches him.
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“The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the official wrote.
Not surprisingly, Capitol Hill was soon awash in speculation as people carefully read and reread the piece, looking for some clue as to the identity of the mystery man or woman. Trump himself called for the Times to “hand over” the writer to the government. Clearly, the Op-Ed has struck a nerve with the infamously insecure president.
Now, the White House is doubling down on their hysteria over the Op-Ed and is stooping to encouraging outright harassment. White House Press Secretary and disgusting liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to Twitter today to post a message to Trump’s fans.
She urged MAGA-heads to call the “failing” New York Times opinion desk and ask for the identity of the “gutless” anonymous “coward” behind the editorial. The cowardly call-to-arms was blasted out to her 3.25 million Twitter followers in a flagrant abuse of her station.
What Huckabee Sanders is essentially encouraging is brain-dead, hateful people to call a newspaper and hurl racial slurs and death threats at hard-working journalists. These people have demonstrated in the past that they are willing to engage in absurd degrees of hostility and abuse for their conman cult leader.
It’s a low move, even by Huckabee Sanders’s rock-bottom standards. Nothing will be accomplished by this petty tactic beyond some minor frustration for The New York Times. She should be ashamed, but she long ago demonstrated that she is incapable of anything even approaching such an emotion.
For those of you asking for the identity of the anonymous coward: pic.twitter.com/RpWYPHa6To
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) September 6, 2018
The tweet is just the latest example of the Trump administration’s disturbing war against the free press. Recently, CNN’s April Ryan spoke about the terrifying fallout of Trump’s media attacks. Ryan has been forced to hire a bodyguard to ensure her personal safety after receiving a slew of threats.
“They’ve put a target on my head…. I’ve had death threats. I’ve had craziness. All I’m going to say for my safety is: I have a team,” Ryan revealed.
Trump and his team bear direct responsibility for this absurd situation. To reiterate: an upstanding member of the press, peacefully practicing her constitutional right to free speech has been so vilified by this administration that she fears for her life enough to hire someone to protect her. When asked if Huckabee Sanders is a fair target for criticism, Ryan didn’t hold back.
“All of the above. All of the above. She should be ashamed of herself for going out there, saying some of the things that she’s said,” said Ryan. “She tries to insult my intelligence. And not just my intelligence, the world’s intelligence…. They always have to go back and press-splain, man-splain the president after he says something. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Words mean something, especially when you get to that level.”
Ryan’s palpable frustration is shared by millions of Americans who are tired of being saddled with an administration that lies more than it tells the truth, that has so little respect for its citizens that it presumes they’re stupid enough to believe whatever half-baked narrative they choose to trot out.
Ryan went on to double-down on her criticisms of Huckabee Sanders, going so far as to suggest that the Press Secretary herself should pay for the cost of the bodyguard because of her role in fomenting such violent hatred for the press, and for Ryan personally.
“I’ve had some people wait for me outside the White House…. There is a concern now. I mean, I’ve had death threats, I’ve had craziness, so I have a real concern. An honest, real concern…. Do I have a bodyguard? Yes, I do. Am I paying for it? Yes, I am. And, I think [Sanders] should have to pay for it, especially if she’s stirring it up with her boss,” Ryan said.
Ryan and her fellow reporters must be commended for their bravery in the face of not only constant ridicule from the White House, but actual threats of violence. Now, more than ever we need them to stand up for the truth and fight for our democracy.