Say what you will about his policy achievements, President Donald Trump is far more efficient than his predecessors in at least one area: alienating others and undermining himself on Twitter.
And The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board is sick of it. The paper’s generally conservative board laid into Trump on Tuesday, making a strong case for the president to lay off his “pointless personal feuding.” The president is both seriously damaging U.S. interests and undermining his own agenda, the editorial argues.
Exhibit A in its argument: Trump’s tweets following the terror attack in London over the weekend. He lashed out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whom he accused of inventing a “pathetic excuse” for the city’s increased police presence. In reality, Khan was merely telling citizens they had “no reason to be alarmed” by the added law enforcement officers. Khan’s office took the high road and opted not to comment, telling media the mayor had “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks.”
The Independent, a British newspaper, observed that Trump’s confusion might stem from watching Fox News, which aired only a snippet of Khan’s quote “entirely removed from its context.” Far from aiding the situation, notes The Wall Street Journal, Trump only succeeded in turning “mass murder into a referendum on his favorite subject, Donald J. Trump.” If this pattern continues, Mr. Trump may find himself running an Administration with no one but his family and the Breitbart staff.
Trump’s social media demons are haunting him at home, too. The Wall Street Journal argues that the president has repeatedly undermined his own policies and the people he has asked to advance them. Of particular note is Trump’s executive order seeking to limit travel from six predominantly Muslim countries. A series of courts have struck down the order as unconstitutional. But as the Department of Justice continues to craft and whittle the order into something more legally palatable, Trump continues to tweet statements that effectively obstruct his own administration. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be justified if he resigned, and this is merely the latest incident in which Mr. Trump popping off undermined his own lawyers,” the WSJ writes.
“If this pattern continues, Mr. Trump may find himself running an Administration with no one but his family and the Breitbart staff. People of talent and integrity won’t work for a boss who undermines them in public without thinking about the consequences.” The paper then closes with this doozy of a summary statement:
In other words, in 140-character increments, Mr. Trump diminished his own standing by causing a minor international incident, demonstrated that the loyalty he demands of the people who work for him isn’t reciprocal, set back his policy goals and wasted time that he could have devoted to health care, tax reform or “infrastructure week.” Mark it all down as further evidence that the most effective opponent of the Trump Presidency is Donald J. Trump.