The despondent version of Donald Trump who earlier this week adopted a fatalistic, disgusted cadence in the course of responding to reporters quizzing him about Democratic demands for six years of tax returns was promptly replaced by a combination of “tariff man” Trump, “border Rambo” Trump and “dealmaker extraordinaire” Trump. Those latter three variants came together on Thursday to threaten Mexico with punishing auto duties and, later, to pitch a prospective trade truce with China as “the granddaddy” of all deals.
Given Thursday’s bombast, it came as no surprise that the president spent the better part of Friday engaged in a full-on, verbal offensive against all enemies, foreign, domestic and imaginary.
While it was Trump’s broadside against Jerome Powell’s Fed that grabbed headlines for market participants, for the rest of America, it was the president’s shrill attacks on the press and egregious border balderdash that raised eyebrows.
Trump traveled to Southern California on Friday, where he met with local law enforcement and took a fence tour in the interest of drumming up support for the “emergency” narrative and to prove to the base that physical barriers are actually being constructed. After all, “finish the wall” doesn’t really work as a campaign slogan if the wall was never under construction in the first place.
Hilariously, the “wall” section he’s touring in Calexico is actually just a two-mile stretch of replacement fencing or, in other words, a renovated version of an existing barrier.
But before we get to the video highlights, it’s worth noting that while aboard Air Force One (as in literally while he was on the plane), the president tweeted the following about the media:
The press is doing everything within their power to fight the magnificence of the phrase, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! They can’t stand the fact that this Administration has done more than virtually any other Administration in its first 2yrs. They are truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
We realize this is just par for Bedminster, but at what point will GOP lawmakers demand that he stop trampling on freedom of the press? Tweets like that are so far beyond the pale that they could easily be mistaken for something that would emanate from that popular KCNA parody account.
In any event, the president’s press conference in Calexico was every bit as surreal as you’d think it would be when you consider this was Trump effectively roping in locals for a publicity stunt during which he mused, off-the-cuff, about border security and how he imagines illegal immigrants strategize when it comes to gaining entry into the country. Here, according to Trump, are the logistics:
We realize it’s tempting to just write this kind of thing off as another nonsensical diatribe from a man who clearly isn’t in full possession of his faculties, but occasionally, it’s important to step back and try to take this all in. Donald Trump is in so far over his head that it’s difficult to fathom it all, and by virtue of the fact that he runs the country, we’re all in the water with him. He now dictates immigration policy for America and as you can see from the clip above, Trump’s thinking is whatever the polar opposite of “clear” is.
Moving along, here is Trump reading what he cryptically referred to as “our new statement”.
That would appear to suggest that Trump is now set to turn back any and all immigrants no matter what their reason for coming to the US might be. As usual, Trump perversely (and accidentally) manages to temper the tragedy inherent in America effectively ripping up The New Colossus and replacing it with the ramblings of a septuagenarian xenophobe by butchering the English language as only he can. Here it is again:
This is our new statement- the system is full. We can’t take you anymore. Whether it’s asylum or anything you want – illegal immigration – we can’t take you anymore. Our country is full. Our area is full. The sector is full. Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry. Turn around.
What exactly is meant by “our area” and “the sector”?
And it got worse, where “worse” means more dementia-speak. Here’s Trump telling a story about missing “doors”:
Finally – because submitting readers to too much more of this on a Friday evening feels cruel and unusual – here is Trump describing the whole immigration system as a “scam” perpetrated on America by “asylum people”, “gang members” and complicit lawyers.
To be absolutely clear: There is a group of people engaged in a “scam” on the American public. But it isn’t “asylum people.”