Chicago Tribune: Trump’s presidency is ‘a disappointment and a disgrace’
The editorial board of The Chicago Tribune issued a sharp condemnation of President Trump on Thursday after his former lawyer Michael Cohen dropped a bombshell, implicating Trump in at least one campaign finance violation during the 2016 campaign.
“There is something we can say now: Trump’s tenure in the White House is a disappointment and a disgrace,” the editorial board wrote.
The newspaper noted how the White House was in “full damage control” after Cohen’s court appearance on Tuesday. Trump’s longtime lawyer and “fixer” testified during a plea agreement that “a candidate for federal office” told him to make six-figure payments to two women — adult-film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal — in 2016, implicating Trump in the process.
The Tribune noted that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted on Wednesday that Trump “did nothing wrong” in his dealing with Cohen.
“There are no charges against him,” she said.
“When your strongest statement of support for a president is that ‘there are no charges against him,’ you’ve described a presidency under siege,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote. “So it is for the reign of President Trump, who came into office a whirling, undisciplined outsider and is now paying the price for his unseemly behavior.”
Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts related to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations.
Trump appeared on Fox News Thursday to defend himself and looked like a “nervous hoodlum,” according to the Tribune board.
Trump suggested to host Ainsley Earhardt that the process of “flipping,” or cooperating with prosecutors as part of a plea agreement, “ought to be illegal.”
“No surprise, really. Trump, who had never been accountable to the voting public, showed his colors on the campaign trail,” the Tribune wrote. “Voters were attracted to his populist message and embraced, or looked past, his rough persona. In our view — expressed early on — he was unqualified for the presidency.”