House GOP aide, echoing many others, on Trump press conference: "bizarre and borderline unhinged."— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) February 16, 2017
You don't have to be stupid to be a racist, but it helps:
"We're going to do a lot of work on the inner cities. I have great people lined up to help with the inner cities," [Trump] said during a press conference.
"When you say the inner cities, are you going to include the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus), Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda, your inner city agenda—" American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan asked.
"Am I going to include who?" Trump interrupted.
"Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus—" Ryan said.
"Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?" Trump said, speaking over her. "Do you want to set up the meeting?"
"No, no, no, I'm just a reporter," Ryan said.
"Are they friends of yours? No, go ahead," Trump continued. "Set up the meeting."
"I know some of them, but I'm sure—" Ryan began.
"Let's go," Trump said. "Set up a meeting."
I don't think Trump even knows what the Congressional Black Caucus is.
I missed this press conference. It sounds like it was an out of town effort at Theater of the Absurd. So quoting from it is my way of coping:
"The leaks are absolutely real," Trump said during a press conference. "The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake."
"If the information coming from those leaks is real, then how can the stories be fake?" a reporter pressed.
"The reporting is fake," Trump insisted. "Here's the thing, the public isn't — you know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don't know if it's true or false because they're not involved. I'm involved."
Trump said that he has been "involved with this stuff" for his entire life.
"So I know when you are telling the truth or when you're not. I just see many, many untruthful things," Trump said. And I'll tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word tone. The tone is such hatred. I'm really not a bad person, by the way."
Even Jake Tapper can't take it any more:
“Everybody at home needs to ask themselves, how would you react if that were your boss coming in and giving a speech to the employees where you work?” Tapper said. “How would you react if that was somebody in your family that you were trying to have a conversation with? You would think, 'This is very difficult to assess in a positive way. The person is not dealing with with world in which we live.'”The irony about screams of "fake news" and claims of his electoral college victory, is not even sharp. It's more like a sign of megalomania:
“He said things that weren’t true, he was called out by one reporter,” Tapper continued. “‘You said you had the biggest electoral victory since Reagan, that’s not true.’ And he said well, ‘Somebody gave me that information. Somebody gave me that information.’ The buck stops there? Is that where we are with this presidency? You said it. Own the words. You were wrong.”
Tapper turned to the camera, presumably to address the President.
“But it’s not just about electoral votes. It’s about the fact that he's still fixated on whether or not he legitimately won the presidency,” he said, “President Trump if you're watching, you’re the president. You legitimately won the presidency, now get to work and stop whining about it."
"Our administration inherited many problems across government, and across the economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess," Trump said. "It's a mess. At home, and abroad. A mess."
A "mess" he once again promised he would "fix." Given how thoroughly clueless he was yesterday about the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, confidence in his ability to "fix" the "mess" in the world is low. Since I'm quoting from TPM so freely, I'll let Josh Marshall speak for me, too. I would only add to his comments that Josh is too young to remember Nixon's Final Days, but I'm not. Nixon was crushed by what he had done, and how hard the Congress had come down on him. Not to be forgotten is that Agnew was forced to resign and then convicted on criminal charges, and Ford was the only Vice President never to be elected to that office, who subsequently became President when Nixon finally realized he had to get out of town ahead of justice in the guise of the U.S. Congress. I've noted before that Trump already sounds like Nixon in those days, just the Nixon we knew from news reports and television appearances, not the Nixon Woodward later limned. This is not good at all:
There are credible reports of Richard Nixon being in this sort of state in the final weeks of his presidency. But Nixon, to give him his due, was at the center of the greatest political scandal in American history, bearing down on him for months and pushing him toward the greatest political disgrace and humiliation in his nation's political history. He was overseeing the Vietnam War, witnessing various domestic civil disturbances, grappling with foreign policy blowups which neared superpower confrontations. There was a lot going on. Trump has been President for less than four weeks. Aside from domestic, media driven and other crises of his own making, virtually nothing has happened.
But the man who just appeared before the press for a free-ranging airing of grievances looked tired, sullen and half broken. His bracing insistence that everything is going perfectly in his White House sounded desperate and bizarre.
He's coming up on one month down and 47 to go.
This is the question and answer Tapper was talking about:
“Why should Americans trust you?” asked [NBC reporter Peter] Alexander.Trump's margin in the electoral college put him 46th out of 56 Presidential elections.
“I was given that information,” Trump said, cutting Alexander off. “I don’t know. I was just given it. We had a very, very big margin.”
“Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive of being fake, when you provide information that’s not accurate?” Alexander asked.
“I was given that information,” said Trump. “Actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory. Do you agree with that?”
“You’re the president,” Alexander replied.
And: there is an annotated version of the transcript at WaPo. Good reading if you don't want to sleep at night.