Ishaan Tharoor writes: Seemingly prompted by Trump’s Twitter outburst — where, to be clear, the current president accused the former president of committing a crime — the White House has now called for a full investigation into whether its own unsubstantiated allegations are true.
Trump and Twitter — cartoon published yesterday in Saudi newspaper Al Watan pic.twitter.com/aiar6LRScJ
— Mohamad Bazzi (@BazziNYU) March 4, 2017
Needless to say, Trump’s critics are unimpressed.
“This may come as a surprise to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but the president of the United States does not have the authority to unilaterally order the wiretapping of American citizens,” said Josh Earnest, a former White House press secretary under Obama. He accused the Trump administration of trying to distract from the controversy surrounding its alleged contacts with Russian officials.
“We know exactly why President Trump tweeted what he tweeted,” said Earnest to the Post. “There is one page in the Trump White House crisis management playbook, and that is simply to tweet or say something outrageous to distract from a scandal. And the bigger the scandal, the more outrageous the tweet.”
Earlier this year, George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at the University of California, Berkeley, crafted a “taxonomy” of how Trump uses Twitter to shift the conversation from unwelcome reports and subsume the news cycle with his own agenda. [Continue reading…]