The Trump White House’s dangerously authoritarian response to criticism

President Trump, as the White House will often remind us, is a counterpuncher. You hit him; he hits back twice as hard. You bring a knife; he brings a bazooka.

But while the White House thinks Trump’s counterpunching is only fair, this is not a two-way street. And yet again Monday, those close to Trump made the case that it is simply not okay to criticize the president like he does others.

After Trump attacked Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) over some veiled criticisms last week, Corker tweeted Sunday that the White House was an “adult day-care center” and later suggested Trump’s threats to foreign countries could lead to World War III. Appearing on “Fox and Friends” on Monday morning, White House counselor said that this was not okay.

“We’ve all worked with Senator Corker over the years,” Conway said. “We thank him for his service. But I find tweets like this to be incredibly irresponsible.”

She added: “It adds to the insulting that the mainstream media and the president’s detractors — almost a year after this election, they still can’t accept the election results. It adds to their ability and their cover to speak about a president of the United States, the president of the United States, in ways that no president should be talked about.”

Former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon picked up that argument Monday night during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s TV show.

“It’s totally unacceptable in a time of war,” Bannon said of Corker’s comments. “We have troops in Afghanistan. In the Northwest Pacific and Korea, we have a major problem that could be like World War I. In the South China Sea, in the Persian Gulf, we have American lives at risk every day.”



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