Ladies and gentlemen, some s*** the president said during the previous week:
- “I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?). His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud – he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!” 2/27/2019 Trump tweet. Nothing indicates intense focus on sensitive nuclear talks like gratuitously bashing a Connecticut senator the day of the nuclear talks. Anyway, the president tweeted this last Wednesday because it wasn’t true until last Wednesday. Trump got out of serving in Vietnam due to bone spurs in his foot, but now can’t remember which foot. I’m sure the Vietnamese just loved rehashing the war, though.
- “Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately). He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked’s lawyer!” 2/27/2019 Trump tweet. Nothing indicates intense focus on sensitive nuclear talks like gratuitously bashing your former lawyer the day of the nuclear talks. Cohen indeed lied about a bunch of things, but Trump hired this liar and promoted him to an executive in the family business. Cohen had the highest rank of any non-Trump for 12 years. If he is a compulsive liar as he appears to be, you have to wonder how he fit in so well around there.
- “You know, I was watching as a lot of you folks over the weeks have said, ‘Oh, we’ve given up.’ We haven’t given up anything. And frankly, I think we’ll end up being very good friends with Chairman Kim.” 2/28/2019 press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. President Trump absolutely gave some things up. First, he granted Kim the kind of legitimacy a one-on-one meeting with a U.S. president carries – something North Korean dictators have craved since the country’s inception but no other president would grant – in exchange for nothing. Once in the first meeting, Trump also gave up annual joint military exercises in exchange for the remains of our Korean War dead. After the meeting was over, Trump claimed to have, um, fallen in love with the guy.
- “Well, you know, the military exercises, I gave that up quite a while ago because it costs us $100 million every time we do it.” 2/28/2019 press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. I’m always amazed at how often the President contradicts himself in the same breath. He just said he hadn’t given anything up, and criticized the media for stating he had. Also, this particular concession was made without consulting our partners in these joint exercises, the South Koreans, which I believe is the kind of faux pas referred to in the State Department as a “dick move.” Lastly, these joint exercises cost $14 million according to the Pentagon, about 1/7 of what the president stated.
- “Look, you know, exercising is fun and it’s nice and they play the war games. And I’m not saying it’s not necessary, because at some levels it is, but at other levels it’s not.” 2/28/2019 press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. Here’s how necessity works: if something is necessary at any level, it’s necessary. Doesn’t have to be necessary on every level. Only one level. Also, ‘exercising is fun?’ These exercises are done routinely to keep a high level of readiness because, in case anyone’s forgotten, Kim Jung-Un is a madman whom routinely tortures and kills people. He’s killed people using anti-aircraft guns, wild dogs, and flamethrowers. He gave the whole world a big middle finger while racing to acquire nuclear weapons. President Trump seems to have stopped the “war games” believing they’re some fun activity like the summer Olympics.
- “I know the Warmbier family very well…I really believe something very bad happened to him, and I don’t think that the top leadership knew about it…He felt badly about it. He felt very badly. But he knew the case very well, but he knew it later. And, you know, you got a lot of people. A big country. A lot of people. And in those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people. And some really bad things happened to Otto. Some really, really bad things. He tells that me he didn’t know about it, and I’ll take him at his word.” 2/28/2019 press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. So, before Otto Warmbier came home brain dead from a North Korean prison, North Korea had approximately one American prisoner. Otto was the only one. It is ludicrous to believe Kim Jung-Un didn’t know about Warmbier and flat out nuts for Trump to take Kim Jung-Un at his word on any topic. Figuring out whether to trust the North Korean dictator was not supposed to be the hard part of being president.
- “Chairman Kim promised me last night…he’s not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear. Not going to do testing. So, you know, I trust him, and I take him at his word.” 2/28/2019 press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. Remember when Roadrunner used to hand Wile E. Coyote a cake with a stick of dynamite as the candle, and Wile E. Coyote would just accept the “gift” with no suspicion whatsoever? I remember. It’s probable that North Korea is already confident with the state of their nuclear weaponry and delivery systems, in which case they don’t need to keep testing. Given that North Korea is producing more missiles and nuclear material all the time, “no further testing” is not a cake President Trump should accept.
- “Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!” 2/25/2019 Trump tweet. Well, someone struck a nerve. Here is Spike Lee’s Oscar acceptance speech; see if you can spot anything racist in it whatsoever. I couldn’t. It’s also worth noting President Trump did sign a good criminal justice reform bill into law, but he had little to do with advancing it through Congress. This was a framework that’s had bipartisan support for years, only held back by Mitch McConnell’s unwillingness to bring it up for a vote during the Obama years. When Democrats won the House in 2018, they simply advanced the mutually agreeable policy. Another example of Dems’ willingness to put governing over campaigning, as opposed to the opposite approach for Republicans.
- “I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country – and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats “trap” of Open Borders and Crime!” 2/25/2019 Trump tweet. I mean, this would have to be the mother of all bait and switches, right? Hey, guys. I know you’re looking for something strong and smart, but, what about this weak and ineffective thing over here? That’s like walking out of a car dealership with a five-year loan on a 1960’s tricycle. No, something tells me this framing of the immigration debate is a slight misrepresentation.
- “Former Senator Harry Reid (he got thrown out) is working hard to put a good spin on his failed career. He led through lies and deception, only to be replaced by another beauty, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer. Some things just never change!” 2/25/2019 Trump tweet. Speaking of “lies and deception,” Harry Reid retired. He was not thrown out. After he retired, his seat was won by another Democrat, Catherine Cortez Masto. The only senator to be “thrown out” in Reid’s native Nevada in recent memory was Dean Heller, a Republican whom Trump endorsed and campaigned for.
That’s our report for this week. Be sure to check out the links for more info on any particular topic and, as always, thanks for reading.