For all the chaotic and unstable things he says and does, there are two consistent patterns when it comes to Donald Trump. One is that, when he launches a verbal attack against someone and it goes poorly for him, he usually keeps digging himself a deeper hole. The other is that, when he takes tangible action against someone and it goes poorly for him, he tends to quickly back down. Sure enough, it’s happened again.
Donald Trump and his White House launched a surreal attempt at singling out and punishing CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who has spent the past two years asking too tough of questions. First they sent a staffer to wrestle the microphone away from him during a press conference. Then they revoked his press pass while posting a doctored video which falsely showed Acosta assaulting the staffer. In hindsight, this entire thing was probably a setup from the start, considering that Trump made a point of calling on Acosta during that press conference.
By now we’re all aware that CNN went into court and, with a little help from its competitors including Fox News, convinced a judge to temporarily reinstate Jim Acosta’s press pass on a emergency basis. But over the weekend, the Trump White House publicly hinted that it would revoke Acosta’s credentials again as soon as the temporary injunction expired, which would have sent the battle back to court. That went over poorly, so sure enough, the Trump regime announced today that Acosta will permanently get his press pass back.
We still don’t know to what extent Donald Trump and his gang were seeking to create a chilling effect on the media, or seeking to create a distraction from Trump’s real scandals, or simply seeking a final act of petty revenge against a reporter they hate as their regime circles the drain. In any case, as per usual, once someone stood up to Trump and made clear that there would be no backing down, it was Trump the coward who backed down.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report