Trump briefing

FILE — President Donald Trump, joined by from left, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, speaks to media during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

‘I fear three newspapers more than 100,000 bayonets,” Napoleon once said, and today you’ve got President Donald Trump with reason to fear Atlantic magazine, 1,331 daily newspapers, 1,761 TV stations, 15,530 radio stations, 1.73 billion daily users of Facebook and 149 million daily users of Twitter more than he fears Joe Biden.

Accompanied by incensed social media commentary, a recent, endlessly told story in news outlets is that Trump referred to Americans killed in combat as “losers” and “suckers” while in France in 2018 to commemorate those who lost their lives in World War I. He was asked to visit a cemetery where the bodies lay, and his verified version is that it was raining so hard that it would have been unsafe to go in the available helicopter. Long trips in cars are never advised for presidents, but look, says an anonymous four, he was worried about his hair.

What is more, they say, he didn’t see much point in the cemetery visit whatever the weather. According to them, he thinks people who get killed in wars are stupid to be in combat in the first place. Other officials tagging along say they never heard Trump say any such thing, including one saying he was always with him.

The campaign hit on Trump has been widespread outrage based on guesses, and let’s ask why these sources didn’t lend the original Atlantic magazine story more credibility by publicly revealing their identity. They are quoted as saying they did not want to put up with the fuss, but look, if you are high-powered and supposedly trustworthy enough to be accompanying a president in the first place, you should not be acting like political hustlers, people going heh, heh, heh as they rhetorically stab him in the back instead of forthrightly facing him and the public

So, OK, these suspects fail the courage and honor tests even if others have attributed similar attitudes to Trump. They also fail the timing test. If the four of them were shocked and decided that here was a major threat in the White House, it was their duty to say so immediately and not wait around for consequences. But the closer the election, the greater the voter impact, right?

This administration has endured more leakers than any other in history, people often breaking the laws about classified documents to make Trump look as bad as possible. They thereby make it difficult for him to ever have candid discussions of the kind crucial to every single president. Congratulations, fear mongers, but listen: Recent books have had at him openly, and Trump’s sister has even been recorded as saying he is “the most dangerous man in the world.”

Well, no. He is not capable of it. Overstating the truth has been a puzzle, seeing as how the truth itself can be frightening enough. But still we had an investigation of Russian collusion when there was none. News outlets said he had advised the Russians to hack Democratic emails when he was talking about subpoenaed Hillary Clinton emails already destroyed. He supposedly said there were good white supremacists and neo-Nazis at a Charlottesville, Va., protest when he specifically said that was not who he was talking about. We had a former president as much as call him a mass murderer for the way he conducted an anti-virus fight mostly conducted by governors as the law dictated.

None of this means Trump is not a wild and crazy guy, a president of considerable achievement accompanied by petty, vulgar, semiliterate Twitter intoxication and regular departures from common sense, common standards and facts. There is also the way the other side plays the game and their lack of concern about too many news outlets being biased, constitutional diminishment, their anti-capitalism, their degradation of basic founding principles and their hope for a new America crippled by progressive inanities.

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Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Email him at speaktojay@aol.com.