Donald Trump's enmity toward the press and demonstrated disinterest in intelligence briefings are indicative of a general disdain for the office of the presidency. But the job title is his now, as well as all of the duties and expectations that go along with it.
President-elect Donald Trump may have won the title he coveted, but he is already demonstrating an astounding lack of respect for and interest in the expectations and obligations that come with it.
It has been 124 days since Trump last held a press conference on July 27th, 2016. Since then, he has not engaged with the press in a substantive manner and has avoided the kind of probing questions that can be asked during press conferences.
Hillary Clinton was consistently assailed by the corporate media for not holding what they deemed a sufficient number of press conferences, even while she had regular contact with local and independent press, went on listening tours, and made herself available to voters.
Trump has done none of these things since the election, instead holing up in Trump Tower with his coterie of flunkies, emerging only for photo ops.
He actively avoided the press pool during his first week as president-elect, and has published videos online without taking questions on the issues presented therein, which is entirely consistent with his hostile disposition toward the press throughout his campaign.
Now he continues to conduct his relations with the press however he wishes, with little of the criticism or pushback that Clinton regularly received.
This enmity toward the press is part of a broader hostility toward transparency and accuracy of information.
Reports from The Washington Post, confirmed by MSNBC, indicate that he has only taken two of the daily intelligence briefings since the election — two out of approximately 18. His vice-president, Mike Pence, has attended nearly all of them, which hews to Trump’s original strategy of delegating most presidential duties to the vice-president.
A president who refuses even basic intelligence briefings about what is going on in the world is a president unprepared for the duties of the office.
This combination of obfuscation and disinterest is a dangerous cocktail, setting the stage for an authoritarian propaganda machine run on falsehoods, conspiracy, and opacity.