We begin today’s roundup with Asawin Suesaeng at The Daily Beast who gives us a look into reaction during Donald Trump’s ranting press conference yesterday:
And as the official White House press conference disintegrated further into unhinged criticism and belligerent sniping, reporters seated in the East Room could hardly contain themselves. There was an awkward mix of laughing with Trump, and chuckling at him as the president kept venting and sneering. The reporters present couldn’t stop quietly gossipping about Trump.
“What is going on?” one journalist whispered to another. “This is insane” and “What the hell?” were other popular refrains in the room.
John Cassidy at The New Yorker:
Four weeks into its first term, the Obama Administration had already passed the biggest economic stimulus since the Great Depression and a sweeping fair-pay act. It had also announced a troop surge in Afghanistan. By comparison, Trump has achieved virtually nothing, except scaring the bejesus out of the world. [...] When he walked out of the room, some of his aides appeared to be delighted. Rush Limbaugh, another Palm Beach resident who has made his career by going loco on the mainstream media, was busy hailing what he had just seen. In parts of Trumpland, then, this was seen as a big win. Practically everywhere else, the reaction was: Wow! He really is a nut.
Ed Kilgore at New York Magazine:
What seems plain in retrospect is that Trump has no intention, at least at present, to use presidential press conferences the way his predecessors have employed them: to convey information to the American people via the media, sometimes despite the media’s efforts to impose an uncongenial interpretation on the intended “message.” Presidents have varied in their skill at this game; some, most famously Richard Nixon, descended into an openly antagonistic relationship with journalists; virtually all the others have on occasion played favorites or “punished” disfavored reporters or outlets by denying access. But nobody until now has used a press conference to send one basic message over and over: With a few exceptions the people in this room are all lying scoundrels and you should not believe a word they say. Because that was Trump’s message: Every grievance he could dredge up, dating back to the ups and downs of the campaign trail, found its way into his tongue-lashing of the media today.
Laurie Goodstein at The New York Times:
Jake Turx is a newly minted White House correspondent for a publication that has never before had a seat in the White House press corps: Ami Magazine, an Orthodox Jewish weekly based in Brooklyn. He is a singular presence in the briefing room: a young Hasidic Jew with side curls tucked behind his ears and a skullcap embroidered with his Twitter handle….the exchange did not go the way he expected. A few hours later, with the clip replaying on social media and Jewish groups issuing news releases, Mr. Turx, 30, was still reeling. He said in a telephone interview, “Regretfully, today was a day I wish we could have done over.”
His editor, Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter, watched aghast from the magazine’s offices as his young correspondent received a tongue-lashing from the president: “It was a very disheartening moment for us, to watch him being berated.”
Check out what the late night hosts had to say about Trump’s tantrum here.
Here’s David Graham’s take at The Atlantic:
Have you ever had a job you loved, but one where you felt like you’d achieved everything you could? So you looked for a new job, went through a fairly grueling application process, if you do say so yourself, got the offer. Then you started the job, and you hated it. Worse, all the tricks you’d learned in your old job seemed to be pretty much useless in the new one. Did you ever have that experience?
The president of the United States can sympathize.
And, on a final note, from Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post:
Trump said Thursday that his administration was running like “a fine-tuned machine.” A crash-test simulator, perhaps?
I guess things could be worse. Don’t ask me how.