What price paranoia?

A New Yorker columnist tells us that early on a Saturday morning our president ordered members of his staff to cover all of the White House phones in tin foil. Sources at the White House confirm this. At 6 a.m., President Trump reached staff members Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer and ordered them to buy enough tin foil to cover every phone in the building. Still wearing his bathrobe following a restless night, the president personally supervised the phone wrapping, at one point shouting at Conway to “wrap it tighter.”

When the bizarre task was completed, Trump ordered Secret Service agents to check every room to see if they could find any traces of former president Barack Obama. “He’s still here somewhere, I know it,” Trump is reported to have said.

Next, our new president, citing no evidence, accused former President Obama of tapping the phones in Trump Tower, the current president’s home and headquarters in New York City. Trump’s unsubstantiated wiretap accusation prompted FBI Director James Comey to ask the Justice Department to take the extraordinary step of issuing a statement rebutting it. This is the same James Comey who raised email issues late in the election campaign, seriously damaging Hillary Clinton’s chances.

Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for former President Obama, denied Trump’s accusation, emphasizing that no White House official under his administration had ever ordered surveillance on a U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false, Lewis said.

Obama’s response to this latest outburst was to express his sincere concern for President Trump and hope that Trump “gets the care he needs.” Obama added: “I know he and I have had our differences, but as one human being to another, it saddens me to see him suffering like this.” Obama suggested that Trump log onto to healthcare.gov and see if there is a healthcare plan that works for him. “Admitting that you need help is always the hardest part,” Obama said.

Last evening, Betsy and I watched an hour-long documentary that examined the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 and its effects on that city and its people. President Harry Truman struggled long before making the terrifying decision to drop the bomb that ultimately ended World War II. The knowledge that our current president and his senior adviser Stephen Bannon now hold the power to act on their paranoia haunts us.

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