Trump isn’t going to stop tweeting. He’s not going to hold press conferences. He’s not going to reveal his tax returns, or discuss a plan to limit his business conflicts of interest. He’s going to bull his way forward, assuming the right to do anything he wants. The White House Press corps is going to have to get used to covering him without the tools they’ve always relied upon. Now, they’ll have to do more of what Washington Post reporter David Farenthold did when uncovering the truth of Trump’s foundation: good, hard investigative reporting absent input from Trump or his smarmy surrogates.
I hope that kind of reporting begins now. Here’s what else I’d like to see:
Insisting that Trump hold press conference because it’s respectful to reporters and to the American people is the wrong tack. I think reporters should mock his refusal to appear in front of the press, saying over and over that he’s afraid to stand up and be accountable. Trump doesn’t deal well with that — and anything that throws him off stride increases the possibility that truth will prevail over spin.
Investigations, and if possible ACLU lawsuits, over Trump’s business conflicts of interest should begin on January 20th. Never mind this “giving him more time to sort things out.” He’s not going to separate himself from his business interests; they are how he defines himself. And the conflicts will be huge. Let’s get after them without further delay.
Going after his family’s business conflicts is fair game, especially if they are serving as White House advisors. Ivanka’s clothing and jewelry line are entirely produced by cheap offshore labor. Trump is criticizing industries whose products are made offshore; let’s turn the spotlight on his own house.
As you can tell, I’m not in agreement with Michelle Obama that if Trump succeeds, the country succeeds. I hope Trump fails spectacularly and early — despite the pain that will be caused to vulnerable Americans and Trump voters alike. Watching his arrogance crash and burn, seeing his voters left in the dust as he rushes to give big tax breaks to the wealthy, bearing the vitriol that he’s unleashed until even the staunchest Trump supporters are disgusted and ashamed by it, is the only way we can begin to climb back out of this dark hole.