On Tuesday, Donald Trump sat down for an interview with the Associated Press and stated off by declaring that he believes the Saudis are innocent—because they say they are. Just like Brett Kavanaugh. Also, he does not need Beyoncé.
Trump: I spoke to the crown prince, so you have that. He said he and his father knew nothing about it. And that was very important. And I spoke to him with Mike Pompeo there. And the crown prince. I spoke to the king yesterday, the crown prince, today wanting to know what was going on, what was happening, and he said very strongly that he and his father knew nothing about it but they are starting a major, they’ve already started a major investigation to find out. And so the answers will be forthcoming.
Much of Trump’s interview followed in the same vein—difficult to interpret when listening, and even harder to make out on the page. It would take a gallon tub of rubber cement and a stack of Xacto blades to cut and paste the words into some semblance of order. But if Trump couldn’t get his point across by speak-English-good, he managed to beat his points home through sorry repetition.
Asked again about why he believes the Saudi leaders, Trump went to a touchstone of … not innocence.
Trump: We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh. And he was innocent all the way. So I was unconcerned. So we have to find out what happened and they are doing a very major investigation. So is Turkey. Plus, they’re putting themselves together and doing it. And hopefully they’ll get to an answer as to what happened. But I will say they were very strong in their denial about themselves knowing.
The one thing that Kavanaugh’s testimony did show is that the strength of the denial is all that counts. Trump did not mention whether the crown prince shouted or talked like a middle-school brat, but those seem to be the hallmarks of innocence.
As with Kavanaugh, it seems there’s a very “thorough investigation planned.”
Trump: They’re going to try and do it in less than a week.
Of course. Trump can definitely give the Saudis some pointers on how to conduct a “thorough” investigation in record time. Maybe they already have statements from Timmy and PJ and Squi. Because that’ll definitely speed things along.
Trump then moved along to describing how he thought the Republican candidates were going to do well in the midterms, a factor which he predicted from his “incredible record” in picking winners in the Republican primaries, and the fact that people are still turning out for his rallies. As with most statements made by Trump during the interview (or outside the interview) every time he returned to the topic, he inflated his personal opinion of his personal greatness with a few more pumps to the ego balloon.
Trump: I don’t believe anybody’s ever had this kind of an impact. They would say that in the old days that if you got the support of a president or if you’ve got the support of somebody it would be nice to have, but it meant nothing, zero. Like literally zero. Some of the people I’ve endorsed have gone up 40 and 50 points just on the endorsement.
Forty or 50 points. Why not just make it 110? And of course, no one in the past ever sought out the endorsement of a party leader? Why would they if it wasn’t Trump?
As with most discussions, Trump returned again and again to the idea that he won in 2016, and that his constant rallies—conducted even in the midst of national disaster—are the dipstick for determining the Republican oil level.
Trump: I mean, I go out, I make a speech like I have, you know, 25 times more people than she gets. And I didn’t need Beyoncé to get them.
Portions of Trump’s replies to the AP were so unintelligible or detached from the question asked, that it would require a new Rosetta Stone to determine their meaning. But the biggest chunk of his response to questions about the midterms seems to be evenly split between the idea that Republicans will win because … Trump. And also, when Republicans lose, it’s not the fault of Trump. Immediately after his response that Republicans would win, because he doesn’t need Beyoncé, Trump swung to the land of “people love me, but it doesn’t rub off.”
Trump: Now, I’m not sure that that’s right. And I’m not running. I mean, there are many people that have said to me, ‘Sir, I will never ever,’ you on the trail when I’m talking to people backstage etcetera, ‘I will never ever go and vote in the midterms because you’re not running and I don’t think you like Congress.’ Well, I do like Congress because I think, and when I say Congress I like the Republicans that support me in Congress.
Trump also revisited Kavanaugh in his discussion of the midterms, showing his certainty that the Supreme Court fight would completely reverse Democratic momentum. Or not.
Trump: I will say, that fight because he was treated so viciously and violently by the Democrats. That fight has had an impact on energy, and it’s had an impact on the Republican Party, a very positive one in terms of getting out and voting. I think, but I’ll let you know in three weeks.
Democrats treated Kavanaugh “viciously and violently.” Almost as if someone much larger had pinned him to a bed, began tugging his clothes off, and threatened him with assault while laughing at his fear. Except not at all like that.
Halfway through the interview, Trump screams at an assistant to bring him “the list” so he can brag about his accomplishments, which mostly seemed to come down to Republicans rubber stamping Trump’s selection of ultra-conservative judges who had been picked for him in advance by Republicans. So … win! And no one can say that Trump has no humor after this knee-slapper.
Trump: Who is the one, who’s the one president that percentage-wise has done better than me? There’s only one. George Washington — 100 percent.
Trump: Nobody has gotten that yet.
AP: That is a good piece of trivia.
That is … moving on. To the very serious affairs of state. Really. The affairs.
AP: Sir, as the president of the United States, is it appropriate to call a woman, and even one who is making serious allegations and who you are in litigation against, to call her a horseface?
Trump: You know what? You can take it any way you want. … I just speak for myself. You take a look, and you make your own determination.
Trump plowed through his relationship with Michael Cohen. That is, if he actually met Cohen, who he called “low level” and “a contractor” if you just ignore that office in Trump Tower right next to Trump and all the times Trump referred to Cohen as his personal attorney.
Trump was also asked about climate change and spent five minutes dawdling with claims about hurricanes in 1890 and how there have been few hurricanes recently, and how it’s all a cycle, and how he wants “absolutely crystal clear water” and “the cleanest air on the planet” and made the blatantly false claim that “our air now is cleaner than it’s ever been.” But then he finished up by denying climate change.
Trump: What I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows. And you have scientists on both sides of the issue. And I agree the climate changes, but it goes back and forth, back and forth. So we’ll see.
So no, Donald Trump hasn’t accepted one iota of scientific evidence. Or one moment of the evidence that’s literally falling on the heads of people across the nation. He’s always right, and he’s going to be right if it kills all of us. Which it will.
Trump continued with a rant about how he’s “really an environmentalist” because “Everything I want and everything I have is clean.” Which isn’t being an environmentalist. It’s being a germaphobe of Howard Hughesian proportions.
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