President Trump continuously claims to be the victim of Democratic obstruction while presenting himself as a “unity” president, but he spends a lot of his time dissing Democrats. In fact, he is doing what Republicans inaccurately accused President Obama of doing. And then Trump whines about the reaction to his insults and snubs.
Monday morning, Trump put an end to the bipartisan post National Governors Association and President press availability by shuttling the Democratic governors off site.
Zeke Miller tweeted:
Post-POTUS/NGA press avail at the White House used to be a bipartisan thing. Now it's just GOP governors
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) February 27, 2017
Jared Leopold tweeted:
Democratic governors were not invited to join presser at White House. Were shuttled off site. https://t.co/FltiGtYvKw
— Jared Leopold (@jaredleopold) February 27, 2017
In 2014 during the press availability post NGA meeting, when governors of both parties spoke to reporters after their meeting with then President Obama, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) accused President Obama of having waved the “white flag of surrender” on economic growth. Did President Obama ban Republicans from the press availability after this? No, of course not.
It isn’t just Republicans who have broken the protocol and turned partisan attack dog on White House grounds. In 1992, Colorado Gov. Roy Romer (D-CO) attacked President George H.W. Bush’s economic policies, only to have the White House turn off the loud speakers on him, according to a Washington Post report.
So the NGA meetings were tinged with partisanship even though they weren’t supposed to be. But never has a president – especially in their second month of office – completely dissed an entire party and shuttled them away from the press availability.
Trump did this because he doesn’t want Democratic governors to be heard by the press. He knows they don’t agree with him on policy, and they have legitimate concerns about his ties to Russia.
Instead of allowing a public fight, Trump did what a totalitarian would do, and tried to shut down the Democrats all together. No disagreements allowed. Power is centralized with Trump only, and complete subservience to President Trump is required.
This is decidedly un-democratic, and in that sense, only feeds the Russian smoke billowing around Trump, for Putin’s main goal is to undermine western democracy.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.