President Trump just couldn’t stand the media attention being focused today solely on the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives and the elevation of his considerably more competent and intelligent nemesis Representative Nancy Pelosi to the Speaker of the House position.
So he engineered a surprise last-minute “press briefing” that marked the first time Trump himself appeared in front of reporters in the White House briefing room.
The lack of prior notice for the hastily arranged event and the fact that the president refused to take questions from the White House correspondents who were hurriedly rounded up hardly qualified the propaganda session — aimed at hyping support for his intransigent position on funding his precious border wall before agreeing to reopen the government — as a press conference.
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Surrounded by a swarm of balding border patrol agents —who appeared to be on their way to a casting call for a Rogaine commercial to make up for the salaries they won’t be receiving during the government shutdown — Trump was obviously desperate to do anything to draw attention away from Pelosi’s ascension and the Democratic triumph.
Republican strategist and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro, one of the most consistent critics of the president from the remarkably resilient never-Trump faction of the GOP, found the president’s publicity stunt as obvious as his combover.
While appearing on a panel on CNN, Navarro correctly interpreted Trump’s motivations for the timing of his press conference, calling the entire exercise an excuse to divert attention from not only the celebrations by the Democrats in the House but also from the multitude of scandals with which he and his administration have been implicated.
“It’s obvious because they then control the narrative,” Navarro said.
“We had an entire show where we were going to talk about oversight, we were going to talk about investigations and potential impeachment and the attorney general in New York, and instead, for 30 minutes we’re talking about what Donald Trump wants us to talk about. Which is Donald Trump, his favorite subject in the world,” Navarro concluded.
Navarro rightly implicates the media in her comments, since they allow the president to dictate the content of their coverage as they have been doing since he announced his campaign. Trump’s puppeteering of the ratings-hungry cable news channels played a huge role in his victory, garnering him millions of dollars worth of free media coverage that he has continued to benefit from since assuming office.
CNN should have ignored Trump’s blatant publicity stunt and stuck with their original plans to discuss how Democratic control of the House will impact the multiple investigations of the president’s criminality. That’s the story that their viewers ultimately want to hear about, not some phony event thrown together at the last minute and only containing rehashed talking points filled with more of Trump’s patented “alternative facts.”
You can watch a clip of Ana Navarro on CNN this afternoon in the video excerpt below.
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Original reporting by Tana Ganeva at RawStory.