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The words of President Donald Trump and his White House staff are, in no small way, a matter of national security and credibility, and those things have entered a danger zone, a Wall Street Journal editorial argued on Tuesday.
The conservative-leaning editorial board pointed to Trump’s debunked claim that domestic and international entities had colluded with the Obama administration to spy on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump and his staffers have not backed away from the allegation despite having been refuted publicly by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers during congressional testimony on Monday.
The Journal painted a stark image of Trump’s refusal to back down: “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.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer last week cited claims from a Fox News commentator who said US intelligence sources told him that the Obama administration had recruited Britain’s Global Communications Headquarters to wiretap Trump Tower.
All parties mentioned by Trump and the White House in its attempts to establish Trump’s wiretapping claims have denied involvement in any such operation.
Still, Trump and his White House have persisted, and The Journal wrote that the gravity of Trump’s headstrong motivations carried potentially devastating consequences.
The editorial board concluded: “If he doesn’t show more respect for the truth, most Americans may conclude he’s a fake president.”