President Trump fascinates me. That’s probably pretty clear at this point in the blog. I love reading transcripts of his monologues. There a bit like those mysterious dot posters of the early 1990’s that seem to contain no image until you stare at them blankly and let your eyes go out of focus and then, all of a sudden, a field of red and orange and blue dots turns into a porpoise or a space shuttle or something. I feel like that reading Trumpian streams of consciousness. The words are recognizable (like dots) but the sentences are ungrammatical and incoherent. But then, at the paragraph level, sometimes I start to understand what he’s trying to say, especially on topics about which I already know what he thinks (like whether he’s right about this or the best at that or guilty of anything).
So, true to form, his latest interview with the mother of all fake news outlets, the ‘failing’ New York Times offers a smorgasbord of entertaining thoughts. Most folks seem worked up about Trump’s dismissive comments about the attorney general or threats to Robert Mueller’s investigation team. Of course, it’s right to pluck out these nuggets, I suppose, especially as they relate to the administration’s efforts at a counterattack to the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russian interests, including the Russian mob. But it’s also just enjoyable to ponder who Trump is playing to when he says things like
“I have had the best reviews on foreign land. So I go to Poland and make a speech. Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.”
I really wish Trump comments came with citation notes. His enemy, the New York Times reported the speech neutrally. They did note that the Poles in attendance liked it (I imagine there was some self-selection involved). The Times actually collected comments about the speech from several sources and points along the political spectrum, although I didn’t see any surprises. Still, it was interesting to hear a Stephen Miller speech again. Ok, I didn’t actually mean to spend that much print on that comment, I just thought it was funny. Also, it came right before this exchange regarding the French president, which is really what I wanted to quote:
TRUMP: He [President Emmanuel Macron of France] called me and said, “I’d love to have you there and honor you in France,” having to do with Bastille Day. Plus, it’s the 100th year of the First World War. That’s big. And I said yes. I mean, I have a great relationship with him. He’s a great guy.
HABERMAN: He was very deferential to you. Very.
TRUMP: He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.
HABERMAN: I’ve noticed.
TRUMP: People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.
TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.
I think that may be all I really know about the French president right now.