Tuesday Reads: Trump is “Frustrated that his Greatness is Not Widely Understood”Posted: October 17, 2017
Yesterday was another mind-boggling day in the ongoing drama of the “Adult Day Care” Center previously known as the White House. Trump held two strange press avails in an effort to convince horrified Americans that he’s doing a great job as POTUS. Politico: Trump gives his own performance a Trump-sized endorsement.
Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and “fake,” and that his White House is caricatured as adrift.
So on Monday, the consummate salesman — who has spent his life selling his business acumen, golf courses, sexual prowess, luxury properties and, above all, his last name — gave the Trump White House a Trump-sized dose of brand enhancement.
With both the Roosevelt Room and the Rose Garden as backdrops, he mixed facts and mirage, praise and perfidy in two head-spinning, sometimes contradictory performances designed to convince supporters and detractors alike that everything’s terrific, moving ahead of schedule and getting even better. His opponents were cast as misguided, deluded or even unpatriotic.
In the cabinet meeting in the Roosevelt Room Trump said that he has no responsibility for the failure of his initiatives in Congress. It is Congress that is “not getting the job done.” He is blameless.
In the Rose Garden, Trump said he hopes Hillary Clinton runs again in 2020, again attacked NFL players for protesting police violence against African Americans, and dithered about why he hasn’t said anything about the four soldiers who were killed in Niger nearly two weeks ago. He even claimed that President Obama and other former presidents didn’t make calls to the families of fallen service members.
Faced with a question about not calling or writing to families of soldiers killed two weeks ago overseas, he deflected by saying other presidents didn’t do either one — and that he often did both. The letters, he said, were going out Monday evening, and he planned to call once time had passed.
Questioned by incredulous White House reporters, who noted that other presidents had made those calls, Trump said he was told otherwise by unidentified officials — and demurred. “I don’t know if he did,” Trump said.
“To say president obama (or past presidents) didn’t call the family members of soldiers KIA – he’s a deranged animal,” Alyssa Mastromonaco, a top Obama aide, wrote on Twitter.
There’s much more at the link. The entire article is a recap of Trump’s many excuses for the failures he refuses to take responsibility for.
Axios offers a much briefer summary of yesterday’s Trumps lies and obfuscations: Trump’s alternative reality
Trump says he and McConnell are “closer than ever before.” Both men and their staffs have been trashing each other in public and private for months.
Trump says other presidents “didn’t make calls” to families of soldiers killed in duty. They did.
Trump says Obamacare is “dead.” His repeated efforts to repeal it failed.
Trump says it’s been established that “no collusion” took place with the Russians. Bob Mueller is interrogating the president’s associates and advisers on this very point in real time.
Trump says he’s on a historic pace of accomplishment. He’s not.
Trump says he “already” has “the votes right now” for a bipartisan health care fix. He doesn’t….
On GOP senators: “I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest. They are not getting the job done.”
“Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer — you shouldn’t even mention. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore.”
On Steve Bannon’s war on McConnell and the Republican establishment: “Steve is … a friend of mine … I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from. … I know how he feels. … There are some Republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves.”
On whether he’s considering firing Mueller: “No, not at all.”
“Oh, I hope Hillary runs. Is she going to run? I hope. Hillary, please run again.”
Responding to the president’s speech, ex-CIA official Phil Mudd was unequivocal in his condemnation.
Boy, a tough day for the president,” Mudd told a panel assembled by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “How about the families who accepted a child or father or spouse home in a casket — it’s not a tough day for them?”
“When you look at people who serve overseas and who give their lives, he’s supposed to say something simple,” the former CIA operative said. “We love what they did for this country, we empathize with the families and we stand with you. Maybe even going to Dover Air Force Base to salute those caskets as they come home.”
Instead, Mudd concluded, “all he can say is ‘my job is tough, and the guys who came before me like President Obama also didn’t do too well in these circumstances.’ I just don’t get it.”
See the video at Raw Story.
Could it be that more Republicans are beginning to see how dangerous Trump is?
He called the White House “an adult day care center.” He suggested President Donald Trump was setting the nation on a course to “World War III.” And he said Trump “concerns me,” adding that the President was treating the office “like a
And on Monday, Sen. Bob Corker stood by those remarks, adding: “My thoughts were well thought out.””Look, I didn’t just blurt them out,” Corker, a Tennessee Republican, told CNN. “My comments — my comments, I stand by them — yes.”
Corker also added a fresh complication to the intensifying White House push to overhaul the tax code, saying that he would oppose any tax-cut bill that would raise the deficit.
“No,” Corker said when asked if he would back a tax plan that would hike the deficit. “I mean, I’ve stated that clearly.” [….]
“Look I’ve been expressing concerns for some time and it’s built over time,” Corker said Monday. “I’ve had private dinners, I’ve had private phone calls, I’ve tried to intervene on topics that I thought things were going in a different direction and are not going to be good for our country. This is not a new thing, it’s been building for some time. And it’s a pattern that I think we’ve fought and expressed for some period of time.”
And in a speech last night John McCain attacked Trump without naming him specifically. ABC News: McCain slams ‘half-baked, spurious nationalism’ sweeping US in passionate speech.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., slammed “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in an impassioned speech while accepting the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia this evening.
McCain, who was presented with the medal by former Vice President Joe Biden, began by saying he was humbled by the award before eventually lashing out at the nationalism that has swept the U.S. and warning against leaving the nation’s place of prominence in the international community.
“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain the last best hope of earth for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said, to applause.
“We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil,” he continued. “… We have done great good in the world. That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did.”
He added: “We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”
I saved so many stories for today, I don’t have room for all of them. Here are some of them, links only.
Jessica Valenti at The Guardian: #MeToo named the victims. Now, let’s list the perpetrators.
Ron Brownstein at CNN: How Donald Trump is negotiating like a hostage-taker.
Vanity Fair: Is Trump Precipitating His Own Impeachment?
The Atlantic: Puerto Rico’s Recovery Is More Uncertain Than Ever.
Jefferson Morley at Alternet (via The National Memo): Is The 25th Amendment A Solution To Trump Madness?
What stories are you following today?