President Trump is known to bristle at criticism. Plus, he happens to be a teetotaler. Which makes a scathing new editorial in the Wall Street Journal likely to be one of his least favorite bits of presidential commentary yet. In the piece, the editors say Trump is seriously damaging his own presidency "with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods." As a prime example, it points to his allegation that former President Obama wiretapped him, complaining that Trump "clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle," despite all evidence to the contrary.
The problem is one of credibility, the editors say. What happens when Trump tweets about something serious and real, say a missile strike by North Korea? It was one thing when he was a candidate and his hyperbole was largely forgiven, but as president he "needs support beyond the Breitbart cheering section that will excuse anything." Instead of a week dominated by headlines about his Supreme Court nominee or the ObamaCare alternative, news that Trump has been repudiated by his own FBI chief has been the big story. Trump's approval rating is now dismally low, and while he may dismiss that as "fake news," the WSJ says he'd better be careful: "If he doesn’t show more respect for the truth most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President." Click for the full editorial.