Lester Holt was almost breathless on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News. An anonymous senior White House official had written an op-ed published in the New York Times that day about how the President’s staffers were working to thwart his out-of-control initiatives. The item was presented as an ‘unprecedented warning’ on the President’s condition. This was followed by an unflattering snippet of President Trump denouncing the op-ed, looking especially boorish. (But what did you expect him to say?) Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, seemed, on a quick listen, to go along with the message that the President is deranged. But he actually said that the report itself was suspect, and that was the real cause for concern.
The op-ed itself is understated, compared to the overblown report on NBC. While I wonder about the motivations of its author in writing for publication while asserting that he supports the President’s achievements, my more immediate impression was that the op-ed was dated: although it was written more recently, it reflected the situation early in the Trump administration, when the new President hadn’t yet gotten his bearings. Donald Trump had never held any sort of elected office before becoming President, so it’s entirely reasonable to expect some learning curve. But he—and we—got past that.
So why are we reading about circumstances from a year ago—which we could surmise from news reports at the time—now?
And why is NBC (and doubtless other media outlets) pushing the narrative that the President is going off the rails?
Yes, Virginia, there is a Deep State.