May 23, 2018

Trump's media relations strategy: "discredit" and "demean"

Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

At the Deadline Club of New York this week, Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" recalled an off-camera conversation with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in July 2016 (via CNBC):

"[H]e started to attack the press ... I said, ... 'You've won ... Why do you keep hammering at this?' And he said: 'You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all. So when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.'"

The flip side: "Flack Ops" ... Mark Leibovich in Sunday's N.Y. Times Magazine, "The Risky Business of Speaking for President Trump ... Flacks in this White House press office are getting enormous exposure — but potentially at a long-term cost to their credibility":

  • "[L]eakiness in a White House can reflect [an] undisciplined and paranoid environment where self-preservation can outweigh loyalty, including (or especially) to the president himself."
  • Sarah Sanders: "I will always do everything I can to give the best and most accurate information at the time that I can. ... What’s true on Monday in terms of a process decision may change by Friday ... And I can’t always know that things will be different."
  • Worthy of your time.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health