I confess that until recently I did not believe covering the Donald Trump administration and my physical proximity to the President during the last 18 months had given me any great insight.
Most days are spent reacting to a variety of stimuli and scandals that give one little time for deep analytic thought beyond retching.
But CNN's Chris Cuomo, Thursday night on his show, in a segment called "Closing Argument" crystalized my thoughts regarding our president.
Using a Trump Tweet (I call these choice little Trump brain droppings "Twitter Litter") Cuomo declared the president hates this country.
The tweet was frightening, anti-American, anti-free press, and alarming. In part it said, "The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media."
I replied to the President's twitter litter, "Let no one mistake what this man is saying: He believes a man who murders journalists, who criminally invaded another country, who poisons his enemies is NOT the enemy of the people - but those who point out these crimes are. @realDonaldTrump who is the real enemy of the people?
Like Cuomo, I found Trump's tweet undermining and demeaning - particularly after I recently lost friends and colleagues in Annapolis when a crazed gunman entered the Capital Gazette and killed five people with a shotgun.
That loss still stings and the president's inability to summon even a modicum of respect for the dead is unnerving.
"This is ugly and it is unoriginal. But most importantly it is an admission that you hate your country," Cuomo said before citing several historic references that show attacking a free press is a bullying tactic used by demagogues, despots and dictators. All of this is true. I found Cuomo's argument lawyerly, logical and air tight - if you accept the premise.
But making the logical leap to Trump hating his own country?
I don't think so.
In fact, I believe Donald Trump believes that he loves his country. Certainly those who support him believe this and telling them point blank their favorite president hates America will not make any headway with them. It will only add to the divisive nature of our country and keep us from meeting somewhere in the middle to hash out our differences.
Cuomo, a man I respect and call a friend, once recounted the old morality tale of unknown origin attributed to the Cherokees and succinctly described in the movie "Tomorrowland":
Casey Newton: "There are two wolves" … You told me this story my entire life, and now I'm telling you: There are two wolves and they are always fighting. One is darkness and despair, the other is light and hope. Which wolf wins?
Eddie Newton: C'mon, Casey.
Casey Newton: Okay, fine, don't answer.
Eddie Newton: Whichever one you feed.
In the case of Trump and his anti-media sentiments it is awfully tempting to call the tweet "boring" as some have or evidence of hatred against our country as Cuomo has. I confess upon first seeing this particular bit of Twitter Litter I too was angry, but after watching Cuomo, I was forced to re-evaluate this opinion for I believe it is feeding the wrong wolf.
Again I say, I do not think Trump hates our country.