If Donald Trump had any political savvy at all, he’d have notified the Gang of Eight ahead of his Iran strike, if only moments beforehand. By not notifying the Gang of Eight at all, but appearing to have notified Lindsey Graham and Eric Trump days beforehand, he handed an easy talking point to the Democrats. And by carrying the whole thing out from his private Florida resort in between rounds of golf, he handed the media an easy avenue for criticizing him, when the media is usually hesitant to criticize the president when the potential for war is involved.
Sure enough, CNN ended up running this headline today: “President Trump dined on ice cream as news of the airstrike broke.” This prompted a response from Trump’s Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham: “This should be a story about Soleimani planning imminent attacks on diplomats & how American lives were saved because of [Donald Trump’s] decisive actions.”
Nevermind that there’s no evidence that there were any imminent attacks, or that any lives were saved. We expect that kind of lying from the Trump regime. The real upshot here is that if you’re publicly whining that the headlines are against you, it means you’re losing. Trump’s Press Secretary is clearly frustrated because she and the Trump regime have failed to control the narrative.
If Donald Trump thought that taking out Soleimani was going to make the media afraid to criticize him, and thus somehow make him more popular, he guessed wrong. Now he and his people are stuck trying to do damage control, even as Trump now has to deal with a pissed off Iran, and the reality that war can only make an unpopular president even more unpopular.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report