You’ve heard of a stream of consciousness? This isn’t one of those.
Donald Trump’s unabridged interview with the Wall Street Journal is a piece of surrealistic, wibbly, wobbly … word stuff. Like a conversation as imagined by Hieronymus Bosch; every little nook and cranny is filled with another disconnected phrase, an out of the blue flash of narcissism, a jaw-dropping expression of paranoia. It’s a conversation from which it’s almost impossible to draw reasonable excerpts, because it only really comes alive when you can see it in the terrifying whole. This is The Iliad of self-delusion. A primal scream of egotism. The Bayeux Tapestry of What. The. Hell.
It’s the kind of speech a Ritalin-soaked ferret might deliver … if he fell into a heap of uncut cocaine. And though any effort to extract anything that seems like a coherent bit of dialog is doomed to failure … Here. Just …. Look.
Mr. Trump: I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised.
WSJ: Just to be clear, you haven’t spoken to the North Korean leader, I mean when you say a relationship with Korea—
Mr. Trump: I don’t want to comment on it—I don’t want to comment, I’m not saying I have or I haven’t. But I just don’t—
WSJ: Some people would see your tweets, which are sometimes combative towards Kim Jong Un…
Mr. Trump: Sure, you see that a lot with me and then all of a sudden somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.
“I could give you 20 examples. You give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.” I’m telling you that Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs could not have crafted that with a bottle of tequila and a major stroke. What does it mean, man? What does it mean?
And that’s before Trump gets to America’s vicious rivers.
The only way to deal with the rest of the interview is to break it into … episodes. Not episodes like on television. Episodes. Like … somewhere between fits and seizures.
Donald Trump and the very bad immigrant
Mr. Trump: This person on the west side that killed eight people and badly, you heard me say yesterday, badly, badly wounded about 12. I mean people losing arms and legs—nobody even talks about that. But they say killed eight and that’s it. I mean you have people—ones walking around without—missing two legs. And the person was running to stay in shape and now he’s missing two legs. Think of it.
But this person, who should’ve never been allowed into this country, came in through the lottery. When they interviewed his neighborhood, they say he was horrible. You’d say good morning to him and he’d start cursing at you. They didn’t want him so they sent him through the lottery, you know, congratulations United States.
Donald Trump and the 10 ways to pay
Mr. Trump: Let me, let me tell you something about the wall. So I’ve always said we have to have a wall. I’ve also said Mexico’s got to pay for it—sometimes you know on occasion, I’d add who’s going to pay for it? Mexico. Well they will pay for it, OK? There are many forms of payment. I could name 10 right now. There are many forms of payment, I didn’t say how.
Donald Trump and the ‘Sarah, will you make that clear, please’
Mr. Trump: The other thing … so the wall. The wall’s never meant to be 2100 miles long. We have mountains that are far better than a wall, we have violent rivers that nobody goes near, we have areas …. But, you don’t need a wall where you have a natural barrier that’s far greater than any wall you could build, OK? Because somebody said oh, he’s going to make the wall smaller. I’m not going to make it smaller the wall was always going to be a wall where we needed it. And there are some areas that are far greater than any wall we could build. So, maybe some day somebody could make that clear …
Sarah, will you make that clear please?
Donald Trump and how you need to see through the wall
Mr. Trump: If you have a wall this thick and it’s solid concrete from ground to 32 feet high which is a high wall, much higher than people planned. You go 32 feet up and you don’t know who’s over here. You’re here, you’ve got the wall and there’s some other people here.
Mr. Trump: If you don’t know who’s there, you’ve got a problem.
WSJ: Well, the other day after your meeting when you talked about wanting to see a deal from Congress. In particular, I’m thinking of the tweets from Ann Coulter. You know, a straight – I mean, they want a wall. Do you feel that you have some room to negotiate here with your own base, when it comes to the wall?
Mr. Trump: I don’t have to because the wall is the same wall I’ve always talked about. I can understand why I have to have see-through.
Donald Trump and … no, you really, really need to see through the damn wall
Mr. Trump: If I’m standing here, I want to be able to see 200 yards out. I want to be able to see, I don’t want to have a piece of concrete that I can’t see.
Mr. Trump: Now on the wall we have cameras and we have highly sophisticated equipment, but the wall – the Border Patrol tells me the other way’s more expensive. It’s not less expensive. We have to have vision through the wall.
Mr. Trump: This is going to be state of the art wall; this will be state of the art. But, I can fully understand why you’d have to have vision. I’d like to be able to see three or four hundred yards instead of we’re at a wall we have no idea who’s on the other side. Does this make sense or am I just wasting my time?
Hope Hicks: It’s what you’ve always talked; it’s consistent with what you’ve always said.
Mr. Trump: No, this is the same. I hope I don’t read tomorrow, Trump is going to make the wall, I always said, we need a wall.
Donald Trump and the very big deal
Mr. Trump: And I’m getting a lot of questions like we want to move to Wisconsin, we wanted – like Wisconsin, I have Foxconn coming to Wisconsin; that’s my deal. You know the head of Foxconn, you know he’s a friend of mine. He’s still only moving there because of me. And the governor has been fantastic.
The governor of Wisconsin has been fantastic in their presentations and everything else. But I’m the one who got them to look at it.
Donald Trump and the man whose name we never say (but it’s Michael Wolff)
Mr. Trump: The man with the three hour interview, he spent three hours – the man who said he spent three hours in the Oval Office who I never met once in the White House. OK, you know – despite all these characters that are – that’s something you can talk about, is the libel laws, because we’ve got to increase our libel laws so when people make misstatements, like yourselves, but when people make misstatements somebody has some, you know, recourse.
Donald Trump and why NBC hates me
Mr. Trump: Look, nobody gets more false press than I do. Nobody – nobody gets – nobody comes close. In history – in the history of this country nobody’s gotten more false press and you guys all know it.
WSJ: Why – why do you think that is?
Mr. Trump: They dislike me, the liberal media dislikes me. I mean I watch people – I was always the best at what I did, I was the – I was, you know, I went to the – I went to the Wharton School of Finance, did well. I went out, I — I started in Brooklyn, in a Brooklyn office with my father, I became one of the most successful real estate developers, one of the most successful business people. I created maybe the greatest brand.
I then go into, in addition to that, part time, like five percent a week, I open up a television show. As you know, the Apprentice on many evenings was the number one show on all of television, a tremendous success. It went on for 12 years, a tremendous success. They wanted to sign me for another three years and I said, no, I can’t do that.
That’s one of the reasons NBC hates me so much. NBC hates me so much they wanted – they were desperate to sign me for – for three more years.
Donald Trump and the Greatest Statement Ever By Anyone
Mr. Trump: Just – and so – so I was successful, successful, successful. I was always the best athlete, people don’t know that. But I was successful at everything I ever did and then I run for president, first time — first time, not three times, not six times. I ran for President first time and lo and behold, I win. And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I’m smarter than all of them put together, but they can’t admit it. They had a bad year.
Donald Trump says ‘Steve’ many times
Mr. Trump: I mean I could take you around to the back and I could show you many people, If you don’t – and some of them you wouldn’t know their names so … Steve was – I always liked Steve, but Steve became very ineffective because he was such a lightning rod. And Steve, in the end I fired Steve.
WSJ: Is that relationship permanently broken between you and Steve?
Mr. Trump: You never know, you know again, the word – I don’t know what the word permanent means, OK? I never know what the word permanent means. We’ll see what happens, but Steve had nothing to do with my win. Well, certainly very little.
Donald Trump and the winning of every single poll ever
Mr. Trump: Don’t forget, I had vanquished 17 governors, senators plus a couple of very smart people, like Ben and Carly and others. I had vanquished them easily – easily. I won every debate based on the polls. You know, they do polls – seven or eight polls. Time Magazine – Time Magazine’s not a fan of mine. Drudge, Time Magazine they have seven polls. I don’t think, I may be wrong – I don’t think you’ll find one poll that I ever lost in any of the 14, 15 debates. Including the presidential debate, you know with her, the three. Steve Bannon, I just wish him well…
Donald Trump and Adam Schiff’s illegal fare-the well
Mr. Trump: No, I think — I just want them to — look, all I see of these Democrats, like Adam Schiff — it’s all he does, he’ll have a meeting, and then he’ll leave, and he’ll call up the meeting, and then I’ll have a meeting and then he’ll leave. He left meetings where people are being interviewed, and then all of a sudden they say a story about what’s going on inside the meetings.
It’s probably illegal, what he’s doing. But the Democrats know it’s a hoax. It’s an excuse for them having lost the election. They know it’s a hoax. And yet, they are milking it to a fare-thee-well and I think the Republicans– although I will say that over the last month the Republicans have started to get very tough. Because they realize there’s no collusion whatsoever. There’s no collusion.
Donald Trump and the horrible treason
Mr. Trump: What went on with the FBI, where a man is tweeting to his lover that if she loses, we’ll essentially go back to the — we’ll go to the insurance policy, which is — if they lose, we’ll go to phase 2, and we’ll get this guy out of office.
I mean, this is the FBI we’re talking about. I think that is — that is treason. See, that’s treason right there.
WSJ: Does any of that make you less…
Mr. Trump: By the way, that’s a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act.
Donald Trump and lying leaker James Comey
Mr. Trump: How could there be obstruction on firing Comey? When the man who’s in charge of it wrote a letter that was far stronger than anything I would have written. He was in charge — Deputy Rosenstein. He wrote a letter that’s far stronger than even what I say.
And here’s another thing. A friend of mine brought this up the other day. Comey. Comey has proven to be a liar and a leaker. Proven. He tries to act like a choir boy. What he did with Hillary Clinton is outrageous. He saved her life, because all of those charges — I call it “Comey one, two, and three,” all of those charges and Comey won, she was guilty of. She should have been taken out of the campaign and been on trial.
Donald Trump and the we’re not done talking about James Comey
Mr. Trump: When he announced the Hillary Clinton fiasco where she was guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty and then where they did the interview with no tape recorder, with no swearing in, with no this, with no that – you know the story.
But take a look at all of these people that became critics of my firing, they all wanted him fired. And they wanted him fired until I said, “he’s fired.” But the deputy, Rosenstein, who is in charge, he wrote a letter that was possibly or probably stronger than anything I would have written or did write.
Donald Trump and hey, did I say we could stop talking about Comey?
Mr. Trump: The other thing is, everybody wanted Comey fired. And, another thing, and this is just a few, Comey has proven to be a leaker and a liar and, if anything, I should get credit for firing him because it turned out I was right because many thing have been found out about Comey that – I mean, I should be given credit for having great insight because many things have been found out about Comey that would never have been found out if I didn’t fire him.
Donald Trump and the vicious rivers
Mr. Trump: So – I – I think we have a very good chance of making a deal on DACA, I would like to be able to do it; I think that the people that are Trump supporters agree with me on it. I would never do it without a wall, the wall is the wall and it’s the same wall that we’re always talking about. It’s – you know, wherever we need, we don’t need it where you have mountains; you don’t need it where you have rivers and – you know, vicious rivers.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.