Not unlike those nuisance defamation suites against MSM, Trump may use the DoJ for further re-election lawfare. At worse he may get the Secret Service to bar people with coughs from the WH grounds.
The problem is that the crisis fits into his preexisting and deeply held worldview—that the media is always searching for a story to bring him down. Covid-19 is merely the latest instance, and he’s reacting in familiar ways. “So much FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted this morning. “He wants Justice to open investigations of the media for market manipulation,” a source close to the White House told me.
Trump is also frustrated with his West Wing for not getting a handle on the news cycle. “He’s very frustrated he doesn’t have a good team around him,” a former White House official said. On Friday, he forced out acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and replaced him with former House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows. Trump thought the virus was “getting beyond Mick,” a person briefed on the internal discussions said.
Trump thinks that the stock market can be manipulated by media coverage, so he believes that the press is conspiring against him to manipulate the stock market by reporting on the coronavirus.
The stock market is plummeting, because they see a domestic public health crisis that is worsening by the day, and a president who has no clue what to do about it. Trump is trying to deal with the coronavirus as a stock market problem, not a health issue. He is incapable of understanding that the markets would go up if he would competently address the coronavirus crisis.
Not even William Barr will launch an investigation into the media for their reporting on the coronavirus.
Trump only cares about the stock market and is looking to blame the media for his total failure as a president.
Trump’s efforts to take control of the story himself have so far failed. A source said Trump was pleased with ratings for the Fox News town hall last Thursday, but he was furious with how he looked on television. “Trump said afterwards that the lighting was bad,” a source briefed on the conversation said. “He said, ‘We need Bill Shine back in here. Bill would never allow this.’”
Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me. The source also said Trump has asked the Secret Service to set up a screening program and bar anyone who has a cough from the White House grounds. “He’s definitely melting down over this,” the source said.
Not everyone is being screened at points of entry, contrary to Trump’s claims.
There is not a COVID-19 test for every person who needs one.
Ã¢ÂÂ CAP Action (@CAPAction) March 10, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Joel M. Curzon (@JoelMCurzon) March 10, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Don Winslow (@donwinslow) March 10, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) March 9, 2020
Ã¢ÂÂ Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 9, 2020