President Trump has been in office for barely two months and already, The Wall Street Journal contends in a scathing editorial published Wednesday, his credibility is shot. Given Trump's penchant for exaggeration and his refusal to back off his baseless claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower, The Wall Street Journal editorial wonders: "If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world?"
The editorial argues Trump is quickly becoming "his own worst enemy," seemingly beholden to the "sin of pride in not admitting error." Already, Trump's successes are getting buried by his refusal to back off the wiretapping claim, which not one government official has been able to offer evidence to support.
Valid questions about "why the U.S. was listening to his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn" are getting lost amid Trump's insistence that Obama wiretapped his phones, the editorial points out. Trump's own FBI director's testimony at a hearing on Russia's election meddling is threatening to overshadow "the smooth political sailing for Mr. Trump's Supreme Court nominee and the progress of health-care reform on Capitol Hill."
While Trump may have been able to escape the effects of his "false claims" when he was still a presidential candidate, the editorial contends that was because "his core supporters treated it as mere hyperbole and his opponent was untrustworthy Hillary Clinton." Trump won't enjoy the same benefit of the doubt now that he's president. "As he is learning with the health-care bill, Mr. Trump needs partners in his own party to pass his agenda," the editorial says. "He also needs friends abroad who are willing to trust him when he asks for support, not least in a crisis."
Read the full editorial at The Wall Street Journal.