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As pressure mounts, Trump’s tantrums become more frequent

As of this morning, Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote lead over Donald Trump is well over 2.3 million votes, a detail that the president-elect seems to find terribly annoying. In fact, as far as Trump is concerned, it only looks like he lost the popular vote – which he secretly won if we “deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

Reporters asked Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller yesterday if he or his team can substantiate such a claim with any kind of evidence. Miller pointed to a 2014 Washington Post story and a 2012 Pew Center study, neither of which support Trump’s claims. In fact, the Republican and his aides have repeatedly pointed to these two reports, which Trump and his staff clearly haven’t read and don’t understand – because they do not point to widespread voter fraud.

Naturally, a variety of news outlets began explaining to the public that Trump’s “evidence” falls apartunder scrutiny. The result, as CNBC noted, was the latest in a series of tantrums from the president-elect.

Donald Trump fired off another tweet storm on Monday night, attacking a CNN reporter who said the U.S. president-elect “falsely” claimed extensive voter fraud.

In a televised report, Jeff Zeleny, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, reported that Trump was showing signs of being a “sore winner,” adding the president-elect had “zero evidence” to back his claim he won the popular vote or that he was a victim of widespread voter fraud.

Trump responded with a series of retweets of others’ comments condemning CNN, including one which was tweeted by a user whose profile indicted he was a 16-year-old boy.

Yes, we’ve reached the point at which the president-elect of the United States, three weeks after the election, is quoting actual teenagers in order to criticize a journalist for telling the truth.

I don’t imagine anyone is especially surprised by Trump’s frequent breakdowns, but that doesn’t mean they’re irrelevant. Trump lost the popular vote by a wide (and growing) margin. Then he lied about it. Then he went a little berserk, publishing a series of bizarre tweets pushing back against accurate reporting the president-elect found inconvenient.

This. Is. Not. Normal.

As Inauguration Day draws closer, Trump isn’t maturing or learning restraint. He isn’t becoming more professional or taking steps to improve his clownish stature. On the contrary, the president-elect appears to be getting worse, with increasingly cringe-worthy breakdowns. When he should be focused on his responsibilities, and preparing for the world’s most difficult job, Trump is spending part of his evening collecting ridiculous tweets from assorted oddballs so he can share them with the world.

If the pressures of the transition are causing Trump to flip out in response to accurate reporting, I shudder to think how unhinged he’ll be once he bears the burdens of an actual president.

Postscript: As part of last night’s tantrum, some of Trump’s tweets tried to shift the burden of proof: instead of asking Trump to prove his allegations of fraud, the president-elect and his followers want media professionals to prove the absence of fraud.

It should go without saying, but that’s not how logic works, and asking journalists to prove a negative, in response to brazen lying, only reinforces fears that Trump is cracking up.

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