As president, Donald Trump hasn’t tempered his tendency to speak his mind freely, without any filter. If anything, it’s gotten more pronounced.
The media found that out again this week when the president did an interview with Time magazine. During a contentious exchange, Trump told the interviewer, “I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”
The interview, published Thursday, was conducted with the magazine’s Washington bureau chief, Michael Scherer.
Scherer had attacked the president for saying that many of his statements were based on instinct, to which Trump responded that, “I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right.”
“When everyone said I wasn’t going to win the election, I said well I think I would,” he said.
“Remember they said there was no way to get to 270? Well I ended up at 306. I had election night, 306 … Brexit, I predicted Brexit, you remember that, the day before the event. I said, ‘no, Brexit is going to happen,’ and everybody laughed, and Brexit happened. Many many things. They turn out to be right. And now today, Devin Nunes, just had a news conference,” he said, referencing the House Intelligence Committee chairman who revealed that he had information Trump’s campaign staff had their communications inadvertently collected.
When Scherer brought up his comments about Sen. Ted Cruz’s father’s possible link to the Kennedy assassination, Trump said, “Well, that was in a newspaper. No, no, I like Ted Cruz, he’s a friend of mine. But that was in the newspaper … Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, [Fox News’] Judge Napolitano, I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted [Fox News anchor] Bret Baier. I mean, Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term.”
And in closing, Trump had a statement for Scherer: “Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know. Say hello to everybody OK?”
Well, on that note…
Needless to say, the media went nuts over Trump’s remark. Here are some of the headlines: “What Trump’s Time Interview Shows About His Thinking” (The New York Times), “Donald Trump’s dizzying Time magazine interview was ‘Trumpspeak’ on display,” (The U.K. Guardian) and “US President appears to lie about lying” (The U.K. Independent).
That’s the thing, though. We saw these headlines all throughout the summer and autumn of last year. And they were so effective at derailing Trump’s campaign that he… won the election.
Say what you will about the man, but maybe his instinct isn’t as far off as you might think.
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