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Why is Trump Not Crying “Fake News” Over Kavanaugh Accusations?

donald trump
Normally Donald Trump would be the first to yell "fake news" when he hears something he doesn't like. So why isn't he doing it now?

brett kavanaugh

This is only my opinion and not the representation of Saintel Daily, LLC.

While the president often clashes with congressional Republicans, the fight to save Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh has them working together in a way that is a bit unusual. This is the first real test of whether Donald Trump can work together with Republican members of Congress and conservative activists under crisis conditions.  After all, it’s Trump’s commitment to stacking the judiciary with conservative jurists is his top selling point among traditional Republicans – who find him distasteful in other ways.  They are now sharing his determination to rescue Kavanaugh from the charge of sexual assault.  And, this task might actually become easier now with the revelation that Kavanaugh’s accuser will likely have to back out of a Senate appearance next week as the FBI might have to investigate her claim before she testifies.

That said, a cloud still hangs over Trump’s nomination whose fate could remain a battle for a few weeks.  Maybe even longer. A half-dozen sources in the White House and on Capitol Hill acknowledged that developing a coherent strategy will test a Trump team not known for precision.  Trump can easily upend careful plans with a single tweet.  Some are consoled, however, by what they call Trump’s relatively hands-off approach towards Supreme Court nomination politics.  This is definitely not “normal” for Trump and it makes you wonder how long it will last.

Until the news broke, Trump and Republicans in Congress were largely unified in their message.  First, they are defending Kavanaugh as an exemplary husband, father, and judge. At the same time, they are attacking not Christy Blasey Ford, but rather the Democrats whom Trump and his allies accuse of unfairly trying to sabotage Kavanaugh’s nomination at the eleventh hour. While I don’t necessarily agree with the factual nature of this message, it is a smart communication tactic.  Again – not something that we typically see from Trump.  So I reiterate my earlier comment – how long will this last?

The messaging unity was on display Tuesday when the president showed unusual discipline in two separate exchanges with reporters and echoed Senate Republicans by slamming the way Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) handled Ford’s accusations — and avoiding explicit attacks on Ford herself. Instead, Trump fixated on the fact that Feinstein had received a letter, which outlined Ford’s accusation by the time she met privately with Kavanaugh over the summer but did not make it public or ask for the conservative judge to respond.

Attacking the accuser is not a strategy that should be employed.  Especially in politics.  I’m happy to see that it’s not happening right now, but why is this particular case any different?  Trump is always so quick to say that everything is “fake news”, why is this any different?  I’d like to say that Trump has seen the error of his ways and that he understands that his responsibility is to the people of the United States.  But, I think it’s something else.  I think he sees the Kavanaugh nomination as a win and without it, he’s not achieving the goals he set out for himself as president.  Whether it’s real or not will be made apparent in the coming weeks and months.  What happens to the nomination is another story.

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