Politico has obtained excerpts of a July 25 Wall Street Journal interview with Donald Trump, and it’s unsettling to say the least.
Reading Trump’s statements in print is always a strange and frightening experience. On camera, his style and confidence helps mitigate his ignorance and incoherence, at least to some degree. But transcripts really expose his answers for what they are; uninformed, unintelligible gibberish that’s pawned off as candid wisdom.
That ignorance and incoherence was on full display during Trump’s recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, which at times became indistinguishable from an SNL style parody.
For starters, Trump repeatedly refers to his 36-year-old son in law Jared Kushner as a “good boy.” Yes, that’s right, the same Jared Kushner who’s been solely tasked with bringing peace to the Middle East is being referred to by the president of the United States like he’s your neighbor’s six-month-old labrador retriever.
Trump also claimed in the interview that the leader of the boy scouts called him and told him his recent speech, which was, totally bizarre and inappropriate, was the “greatest speech ever made to them.”
That claim has since been denied by the boy scouts. The speech was awful and terribly embarrassing, but it’s possible that Trump actually believes this happened and that it was great. It’s possible Trump has become so delusional that he sincerely believes his own lies. Either way, we have yet another petty, narcissistic, whacky, bold-faced lie from the president, which is suddenly a totally normal.
Trump was then asked what he his most proud of in his first six months as president, which is a fascinating question. What does Trump see as his greatest accomplishments?
His answer was telling. “A lot of things. I think I’m proud of the Supreme Court choice. And that’s not just a nomination, that’s getting him through. I’m very proud of opening up regulations. One of the reasons you see optimism is because people can actually use their land. They can farm their land. I’ve had tremendous and tremendous — look, I had 45,000 people there yesterday. It’s the biggest crowd they’ve ever had, and they were — they were going wild yesterday in West Virginia. But people can actually use their land and they can build,” Trump said.
What Trump really said there, to break it down, is that he’s had no real accomplishments whatsoever since taking the office, besides drawing large crowds. He’s asked about what he’s proud of since becoming president, and he almost immediately reverts back into talking about crowd sizes, as if he’s still just running for president.
The idea that he’s proud of getting Neil Gorsuch nominated and confirmed while Republicans control the House and Senate is ridiculous. He literally picked a name off a sheet given to him by some conservative think tank and rolled with it. Not exactly impressive.
His bit about “opening up regulations” is also absurd. In the midst of all this craziness, I actually totally forgot that under Obama, you couldn’t farm and you couldn’t build. It was completely outlawed, it was crazy. So thank God that Trump has finally legalized farming and building, it was about time.
What about disappointments? That’s a really interesting question too. Here’s what Trump had to say when asked what if anything has disappointed him thus far.
“Well, I’d have to let you know. I have to see where we are with this. Let’s see. Maybe it doesn’t work, but I think it’s going to. And, you know, it is — it would have been easier to start with taxes, but this is better if it works, OK? If it works, this is better.”
“More general — generally,” the WSJ reporter probed.
“But I think, you know, depending — so if you asked me that question in a month or really at the end of the year, because we hope to get this. We hope to get taxes and then infrastructure. And then I’m going to do a very big — we’re doing very big trade deals, and we’re looking forward to that. But we want to do, ideally, this first. You know, a lot of people said you should have started with taxes or you should have started with infrastructure. Well, infrastructure, I’ll actually have bipartisan support, and I can use infrastructure to carry other things along. So I don’t want to waste it at the beginning, if that makes sense,” Trump said.
Gibberish. Inarticulate, confused gibberish. That’s what we have come to expect from the president of the United States and the leader of the free world.
What about his goals?
“I want to achieve growth,” Trump said. “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world, essentially, you know, of the size. But we’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. We have — nobody knows what the number is. I mean, it used to be, when we talked during the debate, $2.5 trillion, right, when the most elegant person — right? I call him Mr. Elegant. I mean, that was a great debate. We did such a great job. But at that time I was talking $2.5 trillion. I guess it’s $5 trillion now. Whatever it is, it’s a lot more. So we have anywhere from 4 [trillion] to 5 or even more trillions of dollars sitting offshore.”
The United States is not the “highest-taxed nation in the world.” That’s simply wrong. And who is Mr. Elegant? The world may never know.
This interview also revealed, once again, that the president has no idea what healthcare reform is, and did nothing meaningful to try to pass it (which of course is a good thing, but embarrassing for him nonetheless).
“What have you been doing, Mr. President, sort of behind the scenes?,” the WSJ reporter asked regarding the GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare.
“A lot. A lot,” Trump said. “Many conversations. I just had one with a certain senator that was very convincing to that senator. So I’ve done a lot. I mean, last night – last night it was amazing. I was at the – you know, I was in West Virginia doing certain things and making a speech to the Boy Scouts, and that was some crowd. That was an incredible crowd. But I’ve been working hard, trying to get the senators to go along with it. And I – you know, I think I – you know, look, just don’t quote me on this unless it happens, but I think we have a pretty good shot.”
You knew he’d work a tangential comment about the crowd at a recent speech in there somewhere didn’t you? You can be as sure of that as you can be that the sun will rise tomorrow.
Here’s the rest of the exchange on healthcare:
The WSJ reporter asks, “If you get the vote – if you get the vote today to go ahead, what will be the next hurdle that you –”
“Well, then you have to go and decide on what plan you want, which way you’re going to go. You want to decide on is it repeal or repeal and replace. If it’s repeal and replace, which one do you want to go? Which form of existing conditions? I mean, there’s many things. But once you’re in there, then you can really negotiate,” Trump answered.
He has no idea what’s going on it. It’s obvious. It’s cringe-worthy.
If the Wall Street Journal showed up to my studios today and told me I have ten minutes before they’re going to interview me like I’m the president, I have no doubt in my mind I could fake it better than this.
Every interview and every speech this man gives makes it more and more clear that he is unfit to serve as president. His mental stability and mental facilities are highly questionable. The reality is that we pretty much have a paranoid old man who knows nothing about anything besides what he hears from watching Fox all day with the volume maxed up.