You’d be forgiven if you decided to skip Donald Trump’s interview with 60 Minutes which aired in its entirety on Sunday evening.
Most of the critical bits (e.g., his position on Jamal Khashoggi) hit the tape on Saturday, but more broadly, there doesn’t seem to be much utility in listening to him anymore.
His talking points are always the same these days and pushing back on him is an exercise in abject futility because, frankly, the President is so caught up in his own reality distortion field that it’s no longer clear whether he’s even cognizant of the sheer blatant absurdity inherent in virtually everything that comes out of his mouth.
All of that said, I suppose it’s worth highlighting a handful of clips that touch on key flashpoints both with respect to domestic politics and foreign policy. These are presented in no particular order.
Most analysts now believe it’s just a matter of time before Trump moves to “phase 3” in the trade war with Beijing, where that means slapping tariffs on everything China ships to the U.S. Invariably, that will raise prices for consumer goods in America. Trump (and his surrogates) have variously attempted to downplay the inflationary effects of the tariffs and the President reiterated that in the interview. He also made sure to talk up his “very good chemistry” with Xi. When asked whether he’s trying to “push [China] into a recession”, Trump said “no”, only to immediately brag about the bear market in Chinese stocks:
Asked by Lesley Stahl to explain why he “fell in love” with a brutal dictator in Kim Jong-Un, Trump reminds here that he (Trump) is “not a baby” and that he’s fully apprised of Kim’s horrific resume:
Pressed for answers on why the administration is slapping tariffs on America’s staunchest allies in Europe, Trump repeated his claim that “nobody treats us worse than the European Union.” The President went on to claim that he knows more about NATO than General Mattis:
Speaking of Mattis, Trump said the General might ultimately resign because he’s “sort of a Democrat”:
When asked if he would promise, on national television, to not shut down the ongoing criminal investigation into his campaign, Trump couldn’t quite get there. The best he could do was to say he has no plans of doing that at the present time:
Asked specifically why he felt the need to lampoon Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford in front of thousands of people at a raucous campaign rally, Trump essentially tried to say his impression of Ford was misrepresented, although clearly, it wasn’t:
Given the opportunity to show some sign of humility or to otherwise demonstrate that he’s not completely out of touch with reality when it comes his job performance, Trump actually said that the only thing he regrets is that the media treats him badly:
Obviously, all of the above his objectively bizarre and highly disconcerting for all manner of reasons, not the least of which is the President’s overtly unhinged demeanor throughout.
But as alluded to above, this has become par for the proverbial course.