The White House is not commenting on Donald Trump’s flag burning tweet because of worries that his feelings will be hurt and he’ll throw a temper tantrum. And if that happens, Trump may stop working with President Obama regarding the transition and quit listening to his advice.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday morning, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about Trump’s tweet, which suggested that people who burn the flag should be jailed or be stripped of their citizenship. Flag burning happens to be a Constitutional right protected by the First Amendment. But Trump is apparently unaware of that particular Supreme Court decision.
Earnest, however, declined to comment on Trump’s latest fascist policy suggestion. He explained that there is concern that if the White House slams every outrageous statement Trump makes, they’ll quickly cut through his thin-skin and he’ll quit listening to President Obama’s advice.
This is not the first thing that the president-elect has said or tweeted that President Obama disagrees with. So, I will let the president-elect and his team discuss the words that populate his Twitter feed. They can explain or defend those positions or those views.
What I can do is my best to articulate to you the President’s views and the priority that he places on a smooth and effective transition. And if I spend our daily interactions here itemizing and criticizing all of the things that the president-elect does that are different than what President Obama has done, that is going to materially undermine our ability to engage in a smooth and effective transition. And since that’s the priority right now, since the election was held, I’ll let the president-elect’s team speak to the wisdom and views and policy positions that are articulated by the president-elect.
It seems that Trump has actually been listening to what the president has to say, at least so far. And this gives Obama the ability to have some sort of influence on what is to come once Trump takes office. Regardless of how small that influence may be in the end, the president is right to not risk losing it just to tell Trump that his tweet is a bunch of unconstitutional bullshit.
You can watch Josh Earnest explain why Obama can’t tell America what he really thinks of Trump and his tweets, here:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 29, 2016
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