This paper aims to investigate the construction of ideal leadership in newspaper editorials from four American newspapers. In times of global crisis caused by COVID-19, editorials dealing with national leaders' performances show their opinions and attitudes toward President Trump by making evaluative comments. Previous studies regarding evaluative characteristics embedded in newspaper editorials have focused on the frequent use of modality. By analyzing editorials drawn from major American newspapers, the present study shows that not only words of modality but also statements without any modal expressions play a crucial role in representing and evaluating President Trump's leadership. The analysis also demonstrates that the combination of modal and non-modal statements serves to form writers' perspectives and create the ideology of how ideal and competent leaders should act when faced with a crisis.