Biggest #TrumpPressConference takeaway
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
Say what you will about the possibly fictional “dossier” containing damaging information about our president-elect that Buzzfeed released this week, but it sure seems to have annoyed him, and there’s something distressingly enjoyable about that. On the cusp of the inauguration of a certifiably deranged idiot, that’s going to have to pass for fun for now. Never has there been a leader more deserving of stories full of innuendo and giggle-inducing allegations about him. You reap what you sow, to quote Donald Trump’s second-favorite book, right after his own ghostwritten tome.
Here are 6 terrible things Donald Trump did in the last week that will probably pale in comparison after he is sworn in and all hell breaks loose.
1. He attacked one of the most beloved and respected actresses in the world.
Meryl Streep masterfully used her platform at the Golden Globes to express her profound dismay at the fact that the soon-to-be leader of the free world is the sort of person who would mock a person’s disabilities for laughs.
There is not a human being on the planet who can deny that derisive mimicry was precisely what Trump was engaging in at one of his campaign rallies to illustrate his displeasure with Timesman Serge Kovaleski’s reporting. But there are two sub-humans who denied it. Stepford propaganda minister Kellyanne Conway accused Streep of “inciting” people’s “worst instincts,” and insisted that even if it really looked like Trump was mocking Kovaleski, that’s not what was in Trump’s so-called heart. Donald Trump also counterpunched on Twitter of course, calling Meryl Streep “over-rated,” one of his 5 favorite adjectives, and saying she had misunderstood his perfectly marvelous piece of performance art. Why not just admit it, apologize and move on, Chris Cuomo asked Conway?
It is safe to say, the Trump team will spend the next four years denying the various truths that are in plain sight for us all to see.
2. He called himself a victim, much like six million murdered Jews, of Nazi-like tactics.
Well, that didn’t take long. Distressed by the leak of the “dossier” full of embarrassing, titillating, and compromising information the Russians were alleged to have on Trump, the tweeter in chief hauled out the Third Reich metaphor earlier than most odds makers would have bet. Trump tweeted, “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public,” the morning of his press conference. “One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
At his much-awaited press conference on Wednesday, he was asked if he thought that was the right choice of words, and yes indeed he did.
“I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” he repeated. “I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that, and that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.”
But speaking of Nazis, France’s far-right National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, an advocate of ethnically cleansing France of Muslim immigrants, paid a little visit to Trump Tower later in the week.
The entire Trump team claimed not to have met with her, and of course they are telling the complete truth just as they always do.
3. He held a fake news conference, and lied, preened and most of all bullied his way all the way through it.
Trump’s long-awaited first press conference since July started with the small, and weirdly unnecessary, lie that press conferences are second nature to him and very familiar events that he really enjoys. It proceeded through a multitude of attacks on the press and bogus assertions that he had now separated himself from his business by giving it to his sons, and proof of that was in all the manila folders stacked up on the table next to him like Trump Steaks. Right.
More weird stagecraft included a cheering squad of staffers whenever he felt he landed a blow against the “dishonest media.” Trump falsely claimed he still cannot release his tax returns, and bullied a CNN reporter into silence by calling him “fake news,” and nearly dispatched his goon squad to remove him. He also just generally made us yearn for George W. Bush’s expansive vocabulary.
4. He gloated about the imminent destruction of Obamacare and depriving millions of health care, possibly on his first day in office.
Asked for specifics about his plans for the promised “replacement” for Obamacare at his dog and pony press conference, Trump just repeated the mantra of how he was going to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, very quickly, possibly on the same day, maybe in the same hour.
How is that an answer?
Then, because simply dodging the question is not enough for him, he is compelled to completely turn truth on its head each time he speaks, he described how Republicans are generously actually doing Democrats a favor by immediately destroying Obama’s signature legislative achievement that has given 20 million Americans health insurance and saved lives. “We could just sit back,” he said, “and it was a thought from a political standpoint, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people—we could sit back and wait and watch and criticize.”
Later that night, the House voted to take the first step to dismantle Obamacare. No replacement is in sight and when it is it will likely involve health savings plans, which are the same as you paying for all your medical care, chemotherapy, surgery, everything. When a cancer survivor told Paul Ryan his life was saved by Obamacare, Ryan was undaunted.
So was Trump, who later tweet/gloated: “The ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act will soon be history!”
5. He attacked a civil rights icon on the eve of Martin Luther King Day.
After meeting with FBI director James Comey at week’s end, a number of Democrats were outraged and enraged at what appeared to be gross and improper favoritism toward Republicans on behalf of the bureau. While Clinton’s emails were investigated continually, and information about those investigations leading nowhere was publicized strategically to hurt her, Comey refused to say whether his bureau had even looked into the matter of the Russians hacking the DNC’s computers in order to sway the election for Donald Trump.
On Friday, Georgia congressman and civil right icon John Lewis told Chuck Todd that in light of intelligence reports about Russia’s interference he doesn’t “see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” Earlier in the week, Lewis had stirringly testified against Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions becoming attorney general given his long history of racism. “We need someone as attorney general who’s going to look out for all of us, and not just some of us,” Lewis told the judiciary committee.
With his legitimacy questioned, Trump took the high road, of course. HA! Kidding! No, the world kept spinning on its axis and Trump counterattacked a man who was beaten by police when he fought for the right for black people to vote.
“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district,” the tweeter-in-chief said, “which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to…… mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”
That is in fact not what is sad, not what is sad at all.
6. He perfectly demonstrated how he has no idea how this whole ethics things works.
The recent revelation that one of the wealthy granddaughters of the L.L. Bean company, Maine Republican Linda Bean, contributed money to the Trump campaign led to a call to boycott the company. While discussion of the wisdom of buying flannel shirts and duck boots elsewhere circulated around social media, Trump decided it was time for him to use his lofty perch to help one of his supporters.
“Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L. Bean for your great support and courage,” Trump tweeted before greatly overestimating his own popularity. “People will support you even more now. Buy L.L. Bean.”
This piece of blatant advertising for the benefit of a private company led to a swift rebuke from the government ethics office, which had already had a busy week pointing out that Trump had accomplished exactly nothing in clearing up his conflicts of interest and parrying attacks from Republican hacks like Jason Chaffetz for doing their job.
That and looking for a new job on LinkedIn.
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar