There’s so much binge-worthy stuff on TV these days, it’s hard to prioritize. I recommend “Babylon Berlin” (perversity), “Bosch” (venality), and “The Americans” (mendacity). But if you want all three themes in 30 minutes, check out Trump’s fire and fury on “Fox & Friends,” brought to the screen yesterday by three normally worshipful hosts who looked as if they were witnessing a car wreck.
As James Comey would say, “Lordy!”
Seriously, anyone who still doubts the veracity of Michael Wolff’s bestselling book, notably his anecdotes about Trump’s backstage tantrums, need only watch this Fox episode for confirmation. It’s like listening to the nuttiest armchair jock on your block as he phones into a sports radio show. As you watch Trump careen from self-pity to paranoia, seemingly in one free-form sentence devoid of commas, you won’t know whether to chuckle or upchuck.
I can’t do a deep dive on all the details, because I’m traveling. But these highlights are more than sufficient. This is a guy whose overhead baggage definitely shifted during flight:
He threatened to commit (another) obstruction of justice:
“They have this witch hunt going on with people in the Justice Department that shouldn’t be there — they have a witch hunt against the President of the United States going on — I’ve taken the position — and I don’t have to take this position, and maybe I’ll change — that I will not be involved with the Justice Department. I will wait until this is over. It’s a total — it’s all lies, and it’s a horrible thing that’s going on.”
Because he thinks the DOJ’s Russia probe is “all lies” (total indictments and guilty pleas thus far: 19), he just might decide to get “involved” by interfering with the probe. Wow, I bet his lawyers loved that new flirtation with an impeachable offense. It must be painful for them to watch their toddler play in traffic with live grenades.
He contradicted his own recent claim that Michael Cohen’s work on the Stormy Daniels case had nothing to do with him.
That’s what he said a few weeks ago. But yesterday he said:
“Michael would represent me and represent me on some things. He represents me — like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal he represented me. And, you know, from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds going into this…”
With those comments, he raised new questions. Since Cohen was dealing with Stormy in his capacity as Trump’s lawyer, did he share the details of the payoff with Trump? If so, it puts Trump closer to the payoff. But if not, how does Trump know that Cohen did nothing wrong? And by the way, Trump got it backwards: The issue is not whether campaign funds went into the payoff; the issue is whether Cohen’s money, muzzling Stormy on the eve of the election, should be construed as an illegal campaign donation.
He admitted that he stayed overnight in a Moscow hotel in 2013, contradicting what he twice told Comey.
According to Comey’s contemporaneous notes, Trump said there was no truth to the rumor that he’d hosted Russian prostitutes, because he hadn’t even stayed in a hotel overnight. But yesterday, he told the Fox that he did stay overnight. Here’s what he said:
“I went to Russia for a day or so — a day or two because I own the Miss Universe pageant. So, I went there to watch it, because it was near Moscow. So I go to Russia — now, I did go there — everybody knows. The locks are there, the planes are there … Of course, I stayed there. I stayed there a very short period of time, but, of course, I stayed. Well, (Comey’s) memo said I left immediately. I never said that. I never said I left immediately. So he said — and you know, the funny thing, he does these memos and then fake news CNN, who’s a total fake — you know, they give Hillary Clinton the questions to the debate, and nobody — can you imagine, by the way, if you gave me the questions to a debate? They would have you out of business — and they’d have me, you better get out of this campaign. They don’t even bring it up. I mean, CNN — fake news CNN actually gave the questions to the — no, no, no, no, but think of it. How bad is that? So anyway …”
You needed to get the full flavor of his ADD. His Fox friends kept trying to interrupt, and it was hilarious to watch their faces. Have you ever given money to a mentally-unhinged panhandler, tried to walk away, but felt compelled to humor the loon as he complained about the voices that talk through his teeth? That’s how his Fox friends looked.
He thinks black people love him:
“People don’t realize, you know, if you go back to the Civil War it was the Republicans that really did the thing. Lincoln was a Republican. I mean, somehow it changed over the years, and I will say I really believe it’s changing back. Remember, I was going to get no black votes? I was going to get none? Well, I got a lot. I got a lot of support, you know.”
Actually, most people do know that Lincoln was a Republican and that he “did the thing,” freeing the slaves. It’s History 101. And with respect to the GOP losing black voters, most of us do know why “it changed over the years.” Democrats led on civil rights during the ‘60s, triggering a massive white exodus to a welcoming GOP, especially in the South. As for Trump’s claim that he “got a lot” of black voters, his actual percentage was 8.
He has already placed himself in the presidential pantheon:
“I’ve accomplished, with all of this going on, more than any president in the first year in our history. And everybody — even the enemies and haters admit that … I would give myself an A+. Nobody has done what I’ve been able to do and I did it despite the fact that I have a phony cloud over my head that doesn’t exist.”
Everything in those sentences is false.
When it became increasingly clear that the hosts wanted to get him off the phone before he did himself any more damage, Brian Kilmeade finally broke in and said: “We could talk to you all day but it looks like you have a million things to do.”
No, Brian, he doesn’t have a million things to do. What he wants to do is watch TV. In fact, he doesn’t truly exist unless he’s on it. He would’ve been happy to keep talking, and, who knows, given more air time, he might’ve gotten around to praising the black citizen who disarmed the white Waffle House shooter. But nah, probably not. It would’ve slipped his semblance of a mind.