Trump’s Victory Lap Speeches Show He Is Unstable

Ken AshfordTrump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

At the National Prayer Breakfast this morning:

President Trump, a day after being acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, used a National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to lash out at his political opponents, accusing them of being “very dishonest and corrupt people” who are trying to destroy him and the country.

Explicitly rejecting the message of tolerance offered at the National Prayer Breakfast just moments before he took the lectern, Mr. Trump — without naming them — singled out Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was sitting just a few feet away at the head table, and Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican from Utah who voted to convict him, accusing them of hypocrisy for citing their faith while supporting his impeachment.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Mr. Trump said.

He then seemed to target Mr. Romney, who cited his faith in announcing his decision to vote for conviction.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Mr. Trump said. Then, in a clear reference to Ms. Pelosi, who has said she prays for Mr. Trump, the president said, “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”

Hours later at the Capitol, Ms. Pelosi responded that Mr. Trump’s remarks about Mr. Romney were “particularly without class” and “so inappropriate at a prayer breakfast.”

As for his remarks about her, she said, “I don’t know if the president understands about prayer,” but that she prays “hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values.”

“He really needs our prayers,” she added, “He can say whatever he wants. But I do pray for him.”

Liveblogging the East Room Speech: Trump’s holding a speech to celebrate the Senate’s abdication of its duty. Now comes an avalanche of ravings of a narcissistic psychopath. The worst is yet to come.

No teleprompter.

“It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars,” Trump says, describing the last three years. “I don’t know if other presidents would have been able to take it.”

He starts by pointing out, yet again, that he fired James Comey to stop the investigations into him.

Trump has now delivered his response to Susan Collins by saying he has “done nothing wrong.” So… lesson NOT learned.

“It was all bullshit,” the Commander in Chief of the United States says on live TV from a podium in the White House. Scattered quiet laughter.

Dirty cops, again . “FISA courts should be ashamed as themselves”. He’s gloating.

Part of what makes Trump so potent in harnessing his base is that he genuinely feels bitterly aggrieved all the time, for his whole life, despite his immense privilege and power. It’s the molten core of Trumpism.

Rambling from point to point. “Insurance policy”, “fake dossier”….

Trump appears to be having a hard time breathing, which i haven’t seen before. Audibly huffing here and there.

Trump just trashed Lt. Col. Vindman, a career government official and Purple Heart recipient for fulfilling his constitutional duty to testify before Congress.

Thanks lawyers, Mitch McConnell (the latter of whom was supposed to be impartial).

Not sure what he’s talking about because he’s not completing a sentence or thought.

“I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away and I’m saying things that a lot of people wouldn’t have said but I meant them.” Laughs.

The president’s narrative about his own election always astounds: its infused with victimhood, conspiracies, falsehoods and, of course, projection.

He has a list of people to thank. Gives a little anecdote about each, often infused with lies. For example, in thanking Chuck Grassley, Trump falsely claims James Comey admitted to being a leaker in a committee exchange with Chuck Grassley. Comey *flatly denied* being a leaker in that exchange.

Trump says he never heard Romney talk about religion before and that his religion is a “crutch.”

Now attacking Democratic policies (“open borders, raising evertbody’s taxes”)

Now going after Biden. “Boy, my kids could make a fortune” if they behaved like Hunter Biden, Trump says, omitting the fact that his kids are currently involved in international business dealings. Tries to explain Hunter’s corruption but it is not making any sense.

Trump’s “settling all family business” speech is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. Slurring, sweating, swearing, rambling, red-faced, leaning so hard he’s practically at a right angle. Just grievance and whining and free associating nonsense.

Trump is now complaining that the media did not give him enough coverage for helping win two congressional special election seats in North Carolina last year.

Pretty sure Trump just admitted to the very impeachable offense of which he was acquitted:

– He said he insisted on Ukraine focusing on the Bidens.
– and he said he felt Ukraine was getting US support without delivering value.

Isn’t that basically the quid pro quo he was accused of?

Trump notes that he overwhelmingly won the Republican race in Iowa. He then notes that there are people running against him, one a former governor, Bill Weld. He adds: “I guess they consider them non-people.”

“A lot of people forget Abe LIncoln..”…

This is classic authoritarian stuff whether America wants to admit it or not. Exalt the loyalists. Punish any critics. Put their heads on a stick. Make all see what happens when you go against the leader. Promise retribution.

Trump touts Jim Jordan as an NCAA wrestling champion. He explains that the NCAA is “the big deal,” as it means “in ALL of college.”

Trump now on an extended Jim Jordan wrestling bit and really, ya know, keep going with that.

This speech is a new level of unhinged. Talking about Rep. Debbie Lesko — says he loves the last name and he picks ’em by the last name.

Mind you, this is still the thanking people phase.

Trump says Mark Meadows is someone who became very friendly with, he doesn’t know why, although he likes Meadows’ wife better than him, since she always supported Trump, including by going on a women-for-Trump tour after the Access Hollywood tape release, while Meadows didn’t.

Thanks Devin Nunes. Lots of applause.

Now going quickly through the list.

Stops to complain about whoever made this list.

“So that’s the story,” Trump says, after introducing dozens of members of congress and going on extended riffs about them. “I’m sure I didn’t mention a few,” Trump says of names he owes thanks to. Hard to believe, over an hour in, but could be.

I honestly do not understand how anyone could watch this speech and conclude that this man is fit for office.

Now talking about Lisa Page and Peter Srtzok (“low lifes”) and the “insurance policy”).

Now Hillary’s emails.

Says 99% of the FBI loves him and he loves them — just not the “top scum”

Would give a lot for a livestream of Barr’s face watching this speech.

Trump has now commented on both Debbie Lesko and Elise Stefanik’s appearances and suggested with his remarks that he didn’t realize women could be both good looking and smart.

Mark Meadows stands to speak and kisses Trump’s ass.

Trump says the only Republican who voted against him was “a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency.” (note: even though he was running against an incumbent, Mitt Romney got a higher percentage of the vote in 2012 (47.2%) than did Donald Trump in 2016 (46.1%).

There are politicians in that room who found time to listen to these perverse blowhard ramblings but said they had no time to read the whistle-blower complaint.

Finally he is done. Over an hour.

“This was unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” – Bret Baier on Fox News

John Harwood on CNN just made the most important point about Trump’s speech – that it’s evidence of a man in deep psychological distress.