War between US media & Trump ‘a waste of time for the American people’

War between US media & Trump ‘a waste of time for the American people’
Today, you have reporters and the President going after each other, insulting each other – more ‘Sturm und Drang’. But this is supposed to be about ‘we the people’; it is supposed to be about policy, Ted Rall, political writer & cartoonist, told RT.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday, during his first solo news conference since being sworn in as President, accused a number of media outlets of trying to undermine him and failing to act in the public interest.

The Associated Press news agency ran with a story saying Team Trump is considering a number of measures, including the mobilization of thousands of troops to round up illegal immigrants.

RT: The White House denies they seriously considered the proposal AP reported on, calling it false. If discussions were held, as Homeland Security says, it must have had some traction? 

Ted Rall: Well, governments always have plans. White House administration always has plans, and some of those plans get carried out, and most of them don’t. The Trump administration has plausible deniability, if they say: "Hey, listen, this is just something that we floated, and then we decided not to go with." 

But, that said, it sounds like the AP sourced this pretty well. The AP does a pretty good job with this sort of things. They have excellent sources in Washington and within the Trump administration. It passes the smell test that Donald Trump has been exceptionally diligent at trying to follow through on his campaign promises. The mass deportations of illegal immigrants were at the very center of his presidential campaign. In fact, they were at the center of his announcement of running for President in 2015. The possible mobilization of National Guard jibes with what seems to be a new executive order coming out next week, as was announced in yesterday’s news conference. 

So it passes the smell test to me. If you’re going to do mass deportations, you’re going to need mass mobilizations. We don’t have enough police officers to round up 11 million, or even one million people. So they would need to come from somewhere. So my read on this if I had to speculate would be that they ran this up the flag pole, they saw that there was negative reaction across the political spectrum, so they decided to walk it back a little.   

RT: Is it to minimize the public outcry then? If this memo does exist, does that mean the AP was getting sensationalist a bit, or is it a genuine point of discussion?  

TR: Well, I read the peace and I think the AP reported it accurately in that they said: "Look, this is a plan that is being considered." And they did not claim that it had been ‘green-lit’ or that it was going forward yet; merely that it was something that was seriously being considered. I don’t think the White House has asserted that they didn’t seriously consider it. 

So I don’t think there is any serious fake news accusation here. There is nothing wrong with saying: "Hey, they are thinking about doing this." It does give the Trump administration the ability once the story breaks to see how it’s received and to decide they can say: "Well, we never really seriously considered it."  But I think it’s pretty clear that it was being considered at the highest levels. 

RT: On Thursday, Trump once again called many US media outlets fake news. Where is this feud likely to lead, do you think? Can it ever get resolved? 

TR: I don’t see any resolution here. The two parties are at war with each other. Now I would argue as a journalist myself that it is a good thing for the media to have an adversarial relationship with the President of the US and with the US government. They should have had one with Obama, and they should have had one with George W. Bush. But they didn’t. This is a couple hundred years too late. But better late than never, I would say. But it is ugly to see. 

The problem is if you look at yesterday’s news conference – you have reporters and the President going after each other, insulting each other – more ‘Sturm und Drang’. But this is supposed to be about ‘we the people’; it is supposed to be about policy; it is supposed to be about revealing what the plans are of this president to follow through on his promises of creating jobs and making "America great again". And there is still very little idea of what the President is going to do on important issues, such as getting rid of Obama Care and what comes next. We’re still waiting to hear about that stuff. Instead, we’re hearing about how much the New York Times and the President don’t care for each other. It is kind of waste of time for the American people.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.