The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board on Tuesday harshly criticized President Trump for damaging his own credibility and undermining his presidency with “his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.”
The conservative editorial board said Trump’s repeated accusations that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower will make people second-guess whether he is speaking the truth if something serious happens during his administration.
“If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him?” the editorial stated.
“We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.”
The attack from the Journal’s editorial board is notable at a time when Trump is struggling to win over voters for legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare. While it is far from unusual for the conservative page to criticize a Republican, the attack on Trump was notable for its language.
“Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39%. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President,” it said.
It criticized Trump for refusing to apologize for the accusation about Obama, which lawmakers in both parties and the director of the FBI have said is baseless.
The publication also knocked Trump for repeating an unsubstantiated assertion by a Fox News commentator that a British intelligence agency had helped Obama with wiretaps, while expressing wonder that he would stick to his position.
“Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims,” the editors write. “[White House press secretary] Sean Spicer — who doesn’t deserve this treatment — was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence.”