One month from Election Day, President Donald Trump is facing a credibility crisis as yawning as his health crisis, at a moment when he needs the public’s trust the most.
The president’s coronavirus infection, as well as the illnesses of several aides and allies, has imperiled the highest levels of the U.S. government. The White House’s efforts Saturday to project calm backfired in stunning fashion, resulting in a blizzard of confusing and contradictory information about the health and well-being of the commander in chief.
It’s a moment months in the making, the collision of Trump’s repeated defiance of his own administration’s guidelines for staying safe during the pandemic and his well-known disregard for facts. The result: deep uncertainty for Americans over who and what to believe about the health of the nation’s leader at a perilous moment in U.S. history.
“This is bigger than Donald Trump. It’s about the institution of the presidency,” said Robert Gibbs, who served as President Barack Obama’s first White House press secretary.
For any president, credibility in a crisis is paramount — the ability to rally Americans of every political persuasion around a commonly accepted understanding of the situation. For a president on the brink