Are they friends of yours?

One of the worst bits of that “press conference” that was really just a therapy session for Donnie was when April Ryan asked him if he planned to collaborate with the Congressional Black Caucus.

Ryan asked Trump if he would include the CBC in discussions about his agenda for addressing urban policy. The CBC, for those unaware, is the Congressional Black Caucus, a group of African American legislators that is often a leading voice on the Hill for issues dealing with the black community. Trump appeared briefly to be unaware of what the initials stood for, and so Ryan asked more pointedly.

I didn’t recognize the initials either, partly because “the CBC” is also short for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, partly because it sounds so similar to the CDC, and partly because it’s not particularly standard if you’re not an insider. But that’s irrelevant to how Trump carried on.

“Am I going to include who?” he asked.

“Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus,” Ryan, who is black, asked, “and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as well as …?”

“Well, I would,” Trump interrupted. “Tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours? Set up a meeting.”

Ryan pointed out to the president that she is a journalist and that, while she does know members of the CBC, that’s not her role. “I’m sure some of them are watching right now,” she added.

That doesn’t capture what it was like. Trump asked those three rapid-fire questions in a rude, challenging, truculent way, as if she had done something wrong by asking her question. They were hostile questions, for no earthly reason other than the fact that he’s a prickly reactive asshole.

Notice, also, that he basically talked to her as if she were The Maid. “Set up a meeting.” She’s a reporter asking him a question, not his fucking servant. He does not get to bark out orders at her.

Trump went on to say that he had been trying to set up a meeting with Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and a CBC member. He then claimed that Cummings had balked at following through, but the CBC tweeted its side of the story.

Trump lied about Elijah Cummings, too. He said Cummings had agreed to meet with him but then the White House “called called called” and Cummings totally stood them up. Then he embroidered the lie some more.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings swatted away President Trump’s claim that the Baltimore Democrat wouldn’t meet with him after repeated calls from the White House.

Trump made the comment during a wide-ranging news conferenceThursday and speculated that Cummings may have been dissuaded from coming to the White House for political reasons, perhaps by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), whom Trump dismissed as a “lightweight.”

“I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today. Of course, Senator Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the President,” Cummings said in a statement.

I have an idea why he did it. My idea is that he’s a defensive abusive asshole, and he was irritated by April Ryan’s question, so he proceeded to talk a lot of shit in response. Why was he irritated by her question? I don’t know…because she’s both black and a woman? Because it was a hard question? Because he wanted to talk more shit about the “carnage” in Chicago and he didn’t want to talk about the Black Congressional Congress? All those?

Trump said Cummings “was all excited and then he said, ‘Well, I can’t move, it might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting.’ ”

Trump continued: “But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that — some other lightweight. . . . He was probably told: ‘Don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics.’ And that’s part of the problem with this country.”

The musings came in response to a question about whether Trump would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus — of which Cummings is a high-profile member — to discuss crime in poor, urban areas.

Ok maybe that’s what set him off. If he had to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss crime in poor, urban areas, he would be on the back foot, because they would know more about the subject than he does. That idea probably makes him go all wiggly inside, so he lashes out to show everyone who’s boss and make the wiggly feels go away.

I suspect this could be an ongoing problem.

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