Since the beginning of his presidency, Trump has been receiving a 20-25 page folder that is filled positive news about himself twice a day. The folders are filled with “screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews, praise-filled news stories, and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.”
As one former RNC official put it, “Maybe it’s good for the country that the president is in a good mood in the morning.”
The process of organizing the folders starts at 6 a.m. every weekday in the Republican National Committee’s “war room.” While monitoring CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, staffers look through the internet and newspapers to find content. They also hand over favorable headlines to journalists and save the most positive headlines to give to Trump. When they can’t find enough chyrons that are positive, communications staff will ask RNC staffers for “flattering” photos of Trump.
One White House official who works on the documents say they’ve only got one piece of feedback: “It needs to be more fucking positive.” This is why some of White House staff refer to the folder as “the propaganda document.”
David Axelrod, former senior adviser to Obama during his first two years in the White House, points out, “If we had prepared such a digest for Obama, he would have roared with laughter. His was a reality-based presidency.”
Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus used to compete with each other to deliver the folder to Trump. One would be given at 9:30 and the other at 4:30. A staffer described this as “self-preservation.”
But now that the two have been gone for more than two weeks, the folder is no longer given twice a day. It is usually prepared after public events.
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