Several peculiar comments

The Atlantic has the best summary of the press conference I’ve seen.

Trump insisted, despite copious reporting to the contrary as well as his own son’s statements, that he did not and never had business dealings in Russia. When a reporter asked him if he would release his taxes to prove that, he once again demurred, claiming they are under audit. (He has not proven that claim, the IRS says there’s nothing to prevent him from releasing taxes that are under audit.) Yet he also seemed to suggest that having won the election, he no longer had any incentive to release the returns. “The only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters,” he said. “I mean, I won! I became president!” (A recent Pew poll found that 60 percent of Americans would like Trump to make the documents public.)

The way I read that “I won!” exclamation was not “therefore no incentive” but “Nobody cares, I won, haha, so I don’t have to and you can’t make me, neener neener.”

Also, of course, it’s bullshit. It’s not only reporters who think he should release his tax returns.

The details of Trump’s plan to solve his conflicts of interest remain to be explored and parsed, though he made several peculiar comments during the press conference. He asserted, dubiously, that he has very little debt. He claimed to have been offered a $2 billion deal in Dubai over the weekend, but he said he’d turned it down—even though, he said, he had no obligation to do so. “I could actually run my business and run the government at the same time,” Trump said. He added, “I have a no-conflict situation because I’m president.” That’s an outrageous statement. While not all conflicts-of-interest laws apply to the president, the lack of legal constraints does not mean conflicts of interest cannot exist.

Outrageous, grandiose, entitled, narcissistic, corrupt – that statement is awful in so many ways.

Yet as much as the event was a chance for the press to address Trump, it was also a forum for Trump to address—and dress down—the press. The first speaker was incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who called the publication of the dossier “frankly shameful and disgraceful.” Next up was Mike Pence, who scolded reporters that “with freedom comes responsibility.” When Trump himself arrived at the lectern, he, too, attacked reporters.

If it’s responsibility Pence wants, he shouldn’t have accepted the VP slot. His boss isn’t into responsibility except when it’s other people who should be more responsible.

6 Responses to “Several peculiar comments”