Ladies and gentlemen, we usually dive right into s*** the President said without much introduction. This week, though, I feel compelled to urge you all to listen to President Trump’s interview with George Stephanopolous. Here it is. There is simply no way to capture the essence of that bonkers interview in just 10 quotes. Here, then, are the highlights from another wild week of s*** the President said:
“Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight. And I enjoy that I guess, I don’t know if I enjoy it or not, I guess – sometimes I have false fights, like the Russian witch hunt. That’s a false fight. That’s a made-up hoax.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Let’s outsource some commentary to the great George Stephanopoulos, whom responded in real-time: “The first line of [Robert Mueller’s] report says they had a systemic attempt at interfer[ing] in our elections.” That’s an important point, too often overshadowed by the President injecting himself into the debate. Without the President’s interference, we’d all be focused on how the Russians attacked America and plan to again. Anyway, what was President Trump’s response to Mr. Stephanopoulos?
“They did, but not me. And they also said, okay, that we rebuffed them. Okay? … Paul Manafort, they have Paul Manafort on taxes and many other things. Nothing to do with our campaign.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Right, the Trump campaign rebuffed them by saying, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.” That’s like rebuffing a sexual advance by removing your pants. Again, Stephanopoulos was ready with a quick follow-up: “Giving polling information to the Russians.”
“I don’t know anything about that.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
No one asked Trump if he knew. Trump’s campaign chairman fed a wealthy Russian 75 pages of Trump campaign internal polling data while Russia helped Trump get elected, and he’s still not pissed at the guy. Trump still defends Manafort. It’s strange, right?
“What difference does polling information make? It doesn’t matter. He was maybe trying to do something for an account or something. Who knows?” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
What difference does polling make? Enough of a difference for Donald Trump to pay for 75 pages of it, apparently. Plus, you know, that thing he said two sentences ago about his campaign “rebuffing” all Russian advances.
“Okay, let’s put yourself in a position: you’re a congressman, somebody comes up and says, “Hey, I have information on your opponent.” Do you call the FBI?” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
If that person claims to be “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” then yes, Mr. America First, you should call the FBI to keep American elections for Americans.
“You don’t – I’ll tell you what. I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life. I don’t – you don’t call the FBI.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Ahem: “On Sept. 21, 1981, the FBI got a strange call from Trump…Trump was worried about the status of his application for a casino license.” You may also recall a certain FBI Director being invited to dinner with the new President, where he was asked to commit personal loyalty to the President. So it’s not that Donald Trump has never called the FBI; it’s that he only calls when he needs something. When he thought Russia was helping him, it never crossed his mind.
“The FBI director is wrong. Because, frankly, it doesn’t happen like that in life.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Trump was reminded that his own hand-picked FBI director wants candidates to follow the law and tell the FBI of any foreign contacts. Trump isn’t so much challenging his FBI director’s interpretation of the law as he is challenging the very importance of law itself. His response is reminiscent of Nixon’s famous formulation: “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
“[Hillary Clinton]’s the one that should be in jail. She deleted 33,000 emails…And her lawyer should also be looked at….” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Yes, these things were already looked at. Just a casual reminder that Donald Trump has no legal standard. It’s pure “heads I win, tails you lose.” He’s like the most annoying sports fan you know that thinks every call going against his team is proof of a grand, worldwide conspiracy. He’s so convinced of this, he may be willing to embark on a conspiracy of his own just to even things out.
“If somebody called from a country, Norway, “We have information on your opponent.” Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Jesus. Even children learn from touching a hot stove. I’ve never heard of a man in his 70’s not learning this lesson. “Well it’s red, sure, and there’s fire coming up but I think I’d want to touch it.” Imagine being the FBI and hearing something like this. Imagine being Russia.
“I did very well with women last time. I was hearing I wouldn’t have. I’d say, “Why? Why? Explain.” I did very well with women – Well, I got 52%. And I will tell you – in my opinion I might have won women.” 6/13/2019 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
I don’t know what’s funnier: Trump thinking he won 52% of women against Hillary Clinton (according to notoriously inaccurate exit polls, he won 52% of white women, but turned out to have won white women just 47-45 and lost them 39-54 overall), his not being sure 52% is enough to win, or that he even has an “opinion” about something like math. Math doesn’t care what your opinion is, and math says Trump lost women in 2016. Bigly.
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.