There has not been a White House press briefing in over a month. But what is becoming the new normal for Donald Trump is holding impromptu avails on the lawn when he’s leaving town. And on Saturday morning he did just that to deliver another mostly incoherent tirade on whatever atrocity against him that he just watched on Fox News.
The brief interaction with what Trump routinely calls “the enemy of the people” covered a variety of subjects (video below). He spoke about the imaginary “caravans” that are coming up from Mexico, saying that have been stopped by the walls we have at the border. If that’s true, then why is he holding the country hostage and shutting down the government for another $5.6 billion? He cited San Antonio as an example of where the border walls are working. But San Antonio is not on the border and it doesn’t have a wall.
Trump’s tantrum also included some swipes at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said “I hope that Speaker Pelosi can come along and realize what everybody knows – no matter who it is – they know that walls work and we need walls. […] She’s being controlled by the radical left.” Of course, when Trump says that everybody knows something, he’s referring only to himself and his Deplorable Cult followers. In reality, most experts say that walls are ineffective because they can be defeated in so many ways. Plus, they don’t address the actual problem which is mainly at legal points of entry. But he’ll take any opportunity to smear Pelosi with wild claims of radical lefties controlling her.
Trump concluded his bitch session with some comments about the Buzzfeed story that alleged that he ordered his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress. A vague statement from the special counsel’s office has created some controversy over the article, although it doesn’t refute the main points. But that didn’t stop Trump from tarring all of the media for what he said is a phony story and a disgrace to journalism. Never mind that his own press shill couldn’t deny the story when he appeared on Fox News. Nevertheless, Trump appreciates the statement by Robert Mueller’s office, which he has previously said is a corrupt and totally untrustworthy band of angry Democrats conducting a “Witch Hunt.”
Before Trump wound up the gaggle, he made sure to bash the press some more. But this harangue was especially notable for its epic derangement:
“I think that the Buzzfeed piece was a disgrace to our country. A disgrace to journalism. And I think also that the coverage by the mainstream media was disgraceful. And I think it’s gonna take a long time for the mainstream media to recover its credibility. It’s lost tremendous credibility. And believe me, that hurts me when I see that. I’m the president of this country. Media can pull this country together. It hurts me to say it, but mainstream media has truly lost its credibility.”
There’s a lot to unpack there. Let’s start with Trump pretending that he cares about the state of the media. He has spent at least the last three years maligning them in the most destructive and dishonest manner. It’s downright hysterical to hear him say that it hurts him to say nasty things about the press. He lives for that. What’s more, his remarks about the media pulling the country together just drip with hypocrisy. He’s the most divisive national leader this country has ever seen.
Finally, to hear Trump disingenuously whine about the media losing credibility is another demonstration of his separation from reality. Every poll on the subject shows that the American people trust the media far more than they do him. A recent poll by Quinnipiac asked “Who do you trust more to tell you the truth about important issues: President Trump or the news media?” A majority of fifty-four percent chose the media. Only thirty percent chose Trump. That’s a twenty-four point margin of difference. And that’s representative of a slew of other polls that reveal the nation’s same preference for the press over the lyingest President in history.
Trump can and does try to gaslight the country as to his delusional popularity. He tweeted Saturday morning that he is “your favorite President.” He’s not. He’s not even in the top forty. His favorite pollster, the exceedingly biased Rasmussen, currently has him at his lowest rating for nearly a year (55% disapproval). So he’s not only less popular than the media, he’s generally despised by most Americans. Which is a good call on their part.