I’ve been looking around for the full transcript of the New York Times/Trump interview from Thursday, 12/28. Most links purporting to have the full transcript refer us back to the NY Times piece that clearly says in the title “excerpts”. I primarily prefer raw data to analysis. Analysis can be colored by someone’s perceptions; I would rather use my own crayons.
I did manage to find what seems to be the full interview, but it feels short for a half hour. It came in at about 12 pages; I feel like it’s missing pages. Meh.
Let me say first, the interview as handled by Mike Schmidt, is about as good as we can get. Some people are complaining the Schmidt should have grilled Trump and not allowed him to lie or make stuff up. That wasn’t going to happen in this setting. Trump would have just got up and left.
Trump doesn’t hold solo press conferences for a reason. He doesn’t want to be in a position where he would have to know what he is talking about. He doesn’t want to have to be responsible. He doesn’t want to be caught not having any facts at hand. He doesn’t want to be found out. That being said, I’m not sure that if Trump did hold a solo press conference, that the national media would be capable of holding him to account in matters of import. They would most likely question him hard about whatever dumb-ass thing he tweeted that day, or ask him about whomever it was that he insulted recently, to the exclusion of seeking in-depth explanations on important topics of policy and legislation.
The ideal setting would be a one-on-one interview by someone of solid standing from any of the major networks except Fox. And we all know, that ain’t gonna happen.
So, in this case, giving Donny the rope to hang himself with, is acceptable.
Yes..he does say, “No collusion,” many times. What is really baffling is that not only has he convinced himself there was “no collusion” (the term is not even in the Mueller mandate by the way, but the administration and Fox news are fixated on the word), he has seemingly convinced himself that everyone else believes the same thing.
The interview starts out this way:
MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT: You’re O.K. with me recording, right?
TRUMP: Yeah. Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion. And even these committees that have been set up. If you look at what’s going on — and in fact, what it’s done is, it’s really angered the base and made the base stronger. My base is stronger than it’s ever been. Great congressmen, in particular, some of the congressmen have been unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is. So, I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion.
I’m positive we wouldn’t be able to find one Democratic Congressperson on record as saying that there was, “No collusion.” The smart ones wouldn’t even use the word because it’s irrelevant. Yet, here is Trump stating this ridiculous lie as an obvious truth.
From this, Trump segues into reliving the election…yet again. Some bad track and golf analogies and Schmidt tries to get him back to the original topic at hand:
SCHMIDT: What’s your expectation on Mueller? When do you —
TRUMP: I have no expectation. I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. And you know who knows it better than anybody? The Democrats. They walk around blinking at each other.
SCHMIDT: But when do you think he’ll be done in regards to you —
TRUMP: I don’t know.
SCHMIDT: But does that bother you?
TRUMP: No, it doesn’t bother me because I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. And based on that [inaudible]. There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair. And if he’s fair — because everybody knows the answer already, Michael. I want you to treat me fairly. O.K.?
TRUMP: Everybody knows the answer already. There was no collusion. None whatsoever.
Oh okay. Now, not only do all of the Democrats know it, but everyone knows it. It’s become an unassailable fact in Trump’s mind. Following this, Trump goes on to explain that if there were any collusion, it was between the Russians and the Democrats. All of the Trump campaign/Russian collusion stories are a ploy, because the Democrats lost the election. So….the Democrats colluded with the Russians to win the campaign, and then when they lost, they said the only reason Trump won, was because he colluded with the Russians.
SCHMIDT: So they had to do this to come after you, to undercut you?
TRUMP: No, no, they thought it would be a one-day story, an excuse, and it just kept going and going and going. It’s too bad Jeff recused himself. I like Jeff, but it’s too bad he recused himself. I thought. … Many people will tell you that something is [inaudible].
SCHMIDT: Do you think Holder was more loyal to. …
TRUMP: I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him. When you look at the I.R.S. scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems they had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems. When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest, I have great respect for that.
Of course Trump doesn’t want to use the word “loyalty”. He can at least remember that’s a no-no now, but he sure does love himself some blind loyalty, even if it is not at all true in the case of Holder.
After this, we have about a page of Trump explaining again how the Republicans losing the Alabama seat is not at all his fault. Moving on, if the Democrats had come to Trump and kissed his ring, he would have done more for high tax state’s ability to deduct state/local taxes in the tax reform package. he calls it “Doing bipartisan,” like it’s going out to eat Chinese food.
TRUMP: Now, in my opinion, they should come to me on infrastructure. They should come to me, which they have come to me, on DACA. We are working. … We’re trying to something about it. And they should definitely come to me on health care. Because we can do bipartisan health care. We can do bipartisan infrastructure. And we can do bipartisan DACA.
<I cut a page here>
TRUMP: But the Democrats should come to a bipartisan bill. And we can fix it. We can fix it. We can make a great health care plan. Not Obamacare, which was a bad plan. We can make a great health care plan through bipartisanship. We can do a great infrastructure plan through bipartisanship. And we can do on immigration, and DACA in particular, we can do something that’s terrific through bipartisanship.
SCHMIDT: Do you think I’m wrong to think next year could be the year of you being a real deal maker, in a way you maybe weren’t in the past year?
TRUMP: I was. I make deals with the Republicans. I had nobody to make a deal with the Democrats. The Democrats could have made a much better tax deal for Democrats if they came to see us, but they didn’t come. They never thought I’d be able to get this over the line. And especially when McCain, when John McCain left and went to Arizona, they thought they had it made.
What is becoming clear here, is the infantile way in which Trump views how the legislative process works. To him, all that needs to happen, is the people involved come and pay homage to him, they all go out for a bite to eat, and BAM!!! legislation. DONE. Would only take, like…a couple of hours tops.
SCHMIDT: You said about the oil, that China. …
SCHMIDT: What’s going on there. Tell me about that.
TRUMP: Yeah, China. … China’s been. … I like very much President Xi. He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China. You know that. The presentations. … One of the great two days of anybody’s life and memory having to do with China. He’s a friend of mine, he likes me, I like him, we have a great chemistry together. He’s [inaudible] of the United States. …[Inaudible.] China’s hurting us very badly on trade, but I have been soft on China because the only thing more important to me than trade is war. O.K.?
So, China on trade has ripped off this country more than any other element of the world in history has ripped off anything. But I can be different if they’re helping us with North Korea. If they don’t help us with North Korea, then I do what I’ve always said I want to do. China can help us much more, and they have to help us much more. And they have to help us much more.
This is by far, the absolutely creepiest part of the interview for a summation of just how messed up Donald Trump is. I guess that, for me, when I analyze Trump and his motivations, like half the time I’m hoping his core followers can read this shit and just have it hit them, “Holy fuck! Yeah, there’s something wrong with this cat, we need to put an end to this now!” But, that isn’t going to happen.
This shit is really scary. What we’re reading here is affirmation that Trump’s perception is not only reality, it is the rightful, correct, and only perception of reality that any sentient creature could have. Just as in “No collusion,” is a Trump created fact that is now true for everyone, his enjoyment of his trip to China is now the biggliest bestliest reception anyone has ever received when visiting China in the history of mankind. Why? because Trump experienced it, therefore the world experienced this truth. It’s self-evident. The world is only what Trump himself experiences. There is nothing else.
He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China. You know that.
Policy-wise, this mess doesn’t even make sense. China treats us horribly. They are getting away with murder, yet Trump is soft on them. If China helped with Korea, he would be soft with them. if they don’t help with Korea, he’ll be hard on them. So wait, they’re already getting away with what you’re saying you’d be tough on them about… where’s the incentive to help you exactly?
If they don’t help us with North Korea, then I do what I’ve always said I want to do.
This line, I thought at first he meant that he’d like to go ahead and start a nuclear war with North Korea, which I don’t doubt he’s itching to do, but no. He means, that if China doesn’t help with North Korea, he’ll be tough on the Chinese for getting away with the stuff they’re already getting away with.
PLUS!!! Confirmation of what we already knew. Winning the presidency was just a game. A reality show game. Because it was important to Trump to WIN BIGGLY, it necessarily follows that Trump winning is the only important thing to anyone anywhere. It’s the only thing that matters.
TRUMP: We’re going to win another four years for a lot of reasons, most importantly because our country is starting to do well again and we’re being respected again. But another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, “Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.” O.K.
I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays and hopefully some time off. I plan to get back to regular writing soon : )