Friday, November 09, 2018

Trump's Presser, Translated

I watched Trump's recent press conference in its entirety, because I was bored and felt a little masochistic.  Then I took notes, to filter everything out of what Our Dear Leader said, except the emotional contents.  And this is what remained:


Trump reads from prepared notes. 
Reads more, haltingly, sounding bored. 
Gives a few ex tempore quips and explains them to six-year olds.  Mumblemumblemumble.

Trump praises Pelosi but warns the Democrats not to investigate him because he will investigate back and he is better at that game.

Trump reads that "now is the time to set partisanship aside (!)" and continue working for the great economy and how all the visiting foreign dignitaries compliment him on his economy and look how well steel industry is doing, how well the military is doing, how well law enforcement and how well mining is doing.*

After the monologue, Trump asks for questions from the journalists (roughly 37 or so get to talk).  The fifth questioner (Jim Acosta of CNN) causes him to erupt:

Acosta's first question is about the migrant caravan and the way Trump called it an invasion.  Trump answers that fairly calmly, but then there's chatter and then he says, angrily, "That is enough" several times.

Acosta's second question is about the Russian investigation, and Trump explodes:  CNN should be ashamed to employ you, he says to Acosta, you are a rude, terrible person**, the way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible.  And so on.

We all know the consequences of that little spat. Acosta lost his White House access.***

And Trump did not regain his calm for a while.  Around the seventh questioner he tells one journalist "sit down I didn't call you" and says that the CNN polls are voter suppression and calls the media hostile, so sad,  and tells one woman that she rudely interrupted some other journalist.

Later he was asked what lessons he learned from the midterm election results. His lessons were that people like him and the job he has done, and those he campaigned for won but those he didn't campaign for didn't win.  Lots more about how wonderful he is and how Bill Nelson lost because Trump campaigned for his opponent even though celebrities campaigned for Nelson in Florida.

When asked about forced-birth policies he is pursuing he says that he has a secret solution to the division in the country around that, a solution nobody else has.

He calls this White House the hot White House and says that everyone wants to work there.

On North Korea he says that he has made more progress in five months than his predecessors managed to make in seventy years.  And nobody could have done what he has done.

When he is asked about the increase in antisemitism and other type of hate movements he turns the answer to Israel and says that no prior president has done as much for Israel as he has done.  He moved the US embassy to Jerusalem and built it with very little money.  Nobody has done more for Israel than Donald Trump.

When again asked about the divide in this country he goes on about China, saying that China has come down tremendously and would have superseded the US in two years (if Obama's policies had continued) but now they are not even close.

Trump says he is a great moral leader and loves this country.

A question about working together with Democrats even if they investigate him   causes another eruption:

He says he comes here (to the press conference) a nice person wanting to answer questions and look at journalists jumping out of their seats with not nice questions.

A question about Trump's nationalism and if that means white nationalism caused him to call the question a racist one, several times.   When another journalist continued on the topic of Trump's alleged racist statements, he stated that it's people like that  (journalist) who create division in this country.

In later questions he tells us that he has lowered the price of oil in the last three months because he doesn't like OPEC.

Finally, when asked about the flight of suburban women from Trump, he responds by telling that he was very well received by this country, that the US military will now be the strongest ever, that the vets are doing great now, and that people are very happy with the job he has done.  People want security at home and at the border and women of this country (great people!) want physical security and financial security and ICE is wonderful, because it has taken out thousands of criminal gang members.****

He believes peace and unity must start with the media. It isn't good what the media is doing and he has the right to fight back and he is not doing it for himself but for the American people.


 That was ninety minutes I will never get back.  Still, it's clear that we have a narcissist steering the country and that he is very thin-skinned.  He kept mentioning Obama's administration and its policies whenever he wanted to promote his own policies.  This even included asserting that Obama allowed the Ukraine to be taken by Putin, and when the journalist asking the question noted that it was Putin who invaded, Trump stated that it happened during Obama's watch, nothing to do with himself.

Clearly, Obama is the festering splinter in his finger.

*  All overwhelmingly male-dominated industries.  This was common in Trump's pre-election rallies, too, and probably is equally common in his post-election rallies.  It's a way of signaling which groups he aims to help first.

**  Hilarious, coming from a very rude person.  For example, he told several journalists to shut up.  A polite person would have said something like "please, wait for your turn."

*** This article argues that the video of the events was altered to exaggerate Acosta's reactions, so that his suspension would seem fairer.

**** Who, presumably, would have preyed on suburban women?
Note how he cannot even quite figure out what women might want, so he talks about the military instead.