Earlier on Tuesday, we learned that President Donald Trump pays one White House staffer $89,000 a year to dig up positive news stories about him.
A subsequent report from Vice News adds some more color to this operation — and reveals that Trump is handed a folder twice a day that contains nothing but positive news stories about himself, as well as “screenshots of positive cable news chyrons (those lower-third headlines and crawls), admiring tweets, transcripts of fawning TV interviews… and sometimes just pictures of Trump on TV looking powerful.”
However, Vice reports that there are some days when there simply isn’t enough positive news coverage to satisfy the president — and when that happens, White House staffers simply ask the Republican National Committee to send them “flattering photos of the president” they can use as filler to stuff in the folder.
One former RNC official defended the practice of handing Trump a folder full of happy news stories twice a day because the country is better off when the president isn’t filled with rage.
“Maybe it’s good for the country that the president is in a good mood in the morning,” the staffer said.
The idea for the happy news folder came from former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and outgoing Press Secretary Sean Spicer, whom sources say would squabble over which one of them got to deliver Trump his daily dose of good news each day.
“Priebus and Spicer weren’t in a good position, and they wanted to show they could provide positive coverage,” one unnamed official tells Vice. “It was self-preservation.”