‘Totally dishonest’: Trump asserts only he can be trusted over opponents and ‘fake news’

Over roughly the past day, President Trump has decried the “totally dishonest” media, with its “fake news” and “fake books.” He has argued that Google is biased against conservatives. And he has accused NBC News of “fudging” the tape of an interview with him that has been available online for more than a year.

The president has even declared there is no chaos in his White House, which he claimed is a “ ‘smooth running machine’ with changing parts,” despite the tumult that emanates almost daily from within its walls.

Trump’s assertions — all on Twitter, some false, some without clear evidence — come just over nine weeks before the midterm elections that could help determine his fate, and they are bound by one unifying theme: All of his perceived opponents are peddling false facts and only Trump can be trusted.

The president and his supporters are under siege, the tweets imply, from pernicious forces conspiring against them.

The recent objects of the president’s ire are a host of familiar if disparate targets — from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s “Rigged Russia Witch Hunt” investigation to cable news outlets to Silicon Valley — and reflect Trump’s ongoing effort to create a reality where he is firmly at the center and, perhaps more important, the arbiter of his own Trump-favorable truth.

The president’s tweetstorm late this week reflects a certain agitation with the news swirling around him, according to people close to Trump, including a growing anxiety within the White House about the possibility of the “I-word” — as the president sometimes refers to impeachment — and what a Democratic takeover of the House would mean. His tweet warning that “fake books” about his administration are “pure fiction,” for instance, was viewed by some as an effort to mitigate any possible damage from Bob Woodward’s upcoming book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”

President Trump said on Aug. 30 that his administration would not “tolerate” political censorship from Google and other tech companies.

Trump’s latest social media proclamations are not premeditated, poll-tested strategy, these people added, but rather the president’s raw, visceral response to incoming challenges, and messaging to his base. One former White House staffer described Trump’s tweets this week as just the latest salvo in the long narrative arc he’s long been building against his favorite villains, including the media and Mueller’s probe.



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