The shots being fired at the media by United States President Donald Trump and the White House Team, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer, show little sign of slowing, both in number and voracity.
In the lead up to, and immediately following Trump’s maiden speech to Congress, both sides seemed to take a hiatus, and with Trump taking a far more conciliatory tone during the speech, many in the media complimented what was seen as a potential softening and transformation for the President. Even CNN, one of the Trump team’s key targets was reasonably positive, speaking of the President pivoting away from the small issues and public battles.
That ended following yet another scandal involving Russia, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted to having conversations with the Russian Ambassador during the election campaign, something he has previously denied.
Trump, evidently frustrated at the continued narrative on Russia and scandals within his team, attempted to change the conversation, accusing – incredibly – former President Barrack Obama of wiretapping during last year’s election campaign. He offered no evidence nor the promise of any.
The media has sensed the change in tone, taking preemptive strikes, with networks taking the chance to say that the previous few days had been a sham and that the ‘real’ Trump had returned. The White House has remained quiet following the extraordinary tweet, with former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski being the only person of some influence to speak out on Fox News, but not presenting anything new other than to say that if it is true, there is a case to be prosecuted.
Members of the former White House have been quick to distance themselves from the accusations, speaking not only of them being false, but also mentioning an overarching Obama policy that prohibited interference in election matters.
Obama has not spoken publically, but that is in keeping with best practice, and not wishing to be painted with the accusatory brush, or get involved in a he-said, she-said war of words with the most outspoken president in United States history.
Meanwhile, the news networks have latched onto, not only this story, but the Sessions accusations with renewed vigour, and it’s likely that we’ll see more shots from both sides in the days to come.