Stephen King and America’s 45th president have one thing in common: they both invent stories that frighten people. One of Trump’s latest fictions is that former President Barack Obama tapped phones in Trump Tower to spy on him back when he was the Republican nominee:
Later Saturday morning Stephen King responded to Trump’s claims with a few tweets of his own. He didn’t openly criticize the president for his misinformation or attempt to prove him wrong. Instead King went along with the lie and attempted to develop it into a more interesting story:
Rather than a boring story about federal judges and subpoenas, King turned Trump’s paranoid fantasy into a sort of spy drama. As Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) points out, a spy drama would have been the only way that Obama could have tapped Trump’s phones. He certainly couldn’t have gone through legal channels without the approval of a federal judge. And if a federal judge found evidence of wrong-doing serious enough to merit a wire tap then the current president – as Lieu puts it – is in “deep shit.”
So what Trump seems to be suggesting is that the President secretly tapped his phones personally. And King went on teasing him about it all morning:
Normally a president wouldn’t have to put up with this sort of abuse from a fiction writer. In the old model of American politics the president was in a separate realm from cultural icons like King. But Trump changed all of that with his insistence on informality, spectacle and Twitter rants.
Many of his biggest fans get their information from his Twitter account where replies like these are in full display. This is no doubt why Trump’s approval ratings have been dismal since he took office: not because he’s a liar but because he’s an embarrassing liar.
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