Trump’s NYT Interview

Ken AshfordChina, Election 2020, Emoluments Violation, L'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

A very interesting and Trumpian interview that Trump gave with the New York Times last night.

Some highlights:

  • Twice, Trump lies to Maggie Halberman of the NY Times, and she corrects him, and then he just admits he was wrong. This happens a lot: when he’s challenged, he just concedes.
  • Trump makes a new claim about Trump Tower Moscow: he wasn’t lying when he said he wasn’t doing business with Russia because that wasn’t business, just a “free” letter of intent to do business.
  • Good comedy: Trump tells the NY Times that past presidents had only artificial accomplishments, unlike his, like him passing Veterans Choice. Veterans Choice was created in 2014 under Obama.
  • We should be increasingly skeptical that Haspel and Coats told him what he says they told him: he put a “sir” in the story.
  • In his first public comments about Kamala Harris’s candidacy, Trump praises her campaign launch while calling her “Kameela”:
  • Trump lies that “trucks of drugs” are not brought through legal ports of entry, claiming this is just something “Democrats say.” It’s what his Drug Enforcement Administration says, and what we heard at the El Chapo trial. It’s fact.
  • Trump’s other comment about Trump Tower Moscow: “I didn’t care. That deal was not important.”
  • Trump rewrites the history of the Mattis resignation, saying, contrary to everything that’s been reported, that he had already told Mattis “it’s time,” and that Mattis chose his resignation-letter language to echo Trump’s own language in sorta firing him:
  • Peter Baker of the NY Times tries to get Trump to explain the apparent inconsistency in his views on how to deal with different countries:
  • Trump on foreign officials staying at his hotel: “This job is from an economic — you know, I get a kick out of these people saying “Oh, a rich Arab stayed at his hotel,’…I’ll bet you between opportunity cost and actual cost…I lost massive amounts of money doing this job.”
  • Trump to the New York Times on China Vice-Premier Liu He: “The man from China, the vice — the second man in China, essentially, they call him the vice premier, like the vice president, but he’s the second man, strong second man. He made the nicest statements today.”
  • Challenged on his anti-media rhetoric by the publisher of the NY Times, Trump said four times that he is “entitled” to a positive story in the New York Times:
  • On Christie book: TRUMP: He was not nice to my people. Some of them. Some of them he was. HABERMAN: Well your family, he was not totally nice to your family. TRUMP: No, but he was unbelievably nice to me, actually. HABERMAN: So, you’re fine with it?”
  • On Jared’s security clearance, and how one person seemed to overrule others who said he shouldn’t have security clearance: