Just one day after signing out of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, President Trump has launched a series of major moves to put his Democrat opponents on the back foot and rally his electoral base. Beginning with sending House Dems into a spiral over the upcoming stimulus bill and closing with the announcement of complete declassification of the Russia hoax documents, the president appears determined to dominate the news cycle.
Both of these are highly partisan issues and therefore seem aimed at shoring up his core supporters. With a fairly predictable media reaction, the Trump campaign is looking to maximize column inches and airtime in an effort to suffocate Joe Biden’s Fourth Estate backers.
Russia Hoax Crunch Time?
Since 2016, President Trump has tried to get to the bottom of the Russian collusion scandal. The Mueller report exonerated him, and recent evidence appears to show that key members of the Obama Administration were aware the allegations were politically motivated.
The president tweeted:
“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”
This move comes after documents showing handwritten notes by former CIA Director John Brennan were declassified, showing that he had briefed President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s apparent “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
The president also accused agencies of moving slowly in the declassification project.
Proving once again that he really is the man who wrote The Art of the Deal, President Trump indicated that he had instructed his team to stop working with legislators on a pork-packed Democrat stimulus bill. He wrote:
“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.”
Nancy Pelosi apparently finds it hard to believe that anyone in their right mind could reject the Democrat package that adds billions of unnecessary dollars to what is ostensibly supposed to be a simple COVID-relief bill. “Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP members of Congress,” she said.
CNN’s Manu Raju tweeted:
“On a Democratic call, reacting to the President abruptly breaking off stimulus talks, Speaker Pelosi questioned whether Trump taking a steroid was impacting his thinking, according to two people on the call.”
Because, of course, only serious medical side-effects could stop an individual adding a trillion dollars to the national debt.
Yet, the president was quick to send the ball back into the Democrat court by tweeting, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” And swiftly followed up with, “The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!”
With just 26 days to go before the election, both sides are pulling out all the stops. This is a battle for airtime and coverage, and as Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
American voters may be about to witness the largest episode of media buzz in the nation’s history. It will promote excitement and rancor in equal measure while preventing Fourth Estate partisans on both sides of the aisle from dwelling on specific negative stories. The next four weeks will be the political rollercoaster of the century.
Read more from Mark Angelides.