Hangin’ with Don

So yesterday a couple of New York Times reporters were hanging around Mar-a-Lago and Donald “president” Trump finished lunch and sat down to chat with them. He was as modest, cogent, and informed as ever.

During an impromptu 30-minute interview with The New York Times at his golf club in West Palm Beach, the president did not demand an end to the Russia investigations swirling around his administration, but insisted 16 times that there has been “no collusion” discovered by the inquiry.

“It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Mr. Trump said of the investigation. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”

Hm. Interesting take. From where I sit it’s not the investigation that makes us look bad, it’s Trump that makes us look bad. Isn’t perspective fascinating.

Asked whether he would order the Justice Department to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, Mr. Trump appeared to remain focused on the Russia investigation.

“I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” he said, echoing claims by his supporters that as president he has the power to open or end an investigation. “But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”

Having “the power” to do something is one thing, and having an “absolute right” to do it is another. Trump thinks like a dictator – like, precisely, an absolutist. He does that because he’s a bossy bullying authoritarian asshole, but he also does it because he’s stupid and simple-minded. He translates everything into the simpler, cruder terms that he can understand, and spits it back out in this trumpified version. It takes a very childish mind to announce to the world “I have the absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department,” especially when the subject is his own alleged wrongdoing.

He chatted a little about how furious he is with China and how he’s not going to sit with them at the lunch table any more.

Despite saying that when he visited China in November, President Xi Jinping “treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China,” Mr. Trump said that “they have to help us much more.”

I wonder how much Trump knows about how other people have been treated “in the history of China.” My guess would be that the answer is Nothing.

Mr. Trump gave the interview in the Grill Room at Trump International Golf Club after he ate lunch with his playing partners, including his son Eric and the pro golfer Jim Herman. No aides were present for the interview, and the president sat alone with a New York Times reporter at a large round table as club members chatted and ate lunch nearby.

In other words…”well that was weird.”

Mr. Trump disputed reports that suggested he does not have a detailed understanding of legislation, saying, “I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.”

Later, he added that he knows more about “the big bills” debated in the Congress “than any president that’s ever been in office.”

Then he said he has the biggest penis that’s ever been measured, and that he can fly, and that he knows how to shoot flames out of his nostrils.

Mr. Trump said he believes members of the news media will eventually cover him more favorably because they are profiting from the interest in his presidency and thus will want him re-elected.

“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes,” Mr. Trump said, then invoked one of his preferred insults. “Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.”

He added: “So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K.”

Yes, it’s all about the ratings.

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