politics Trump

In Wild Bartiromo Call, Trump Mocks ‘Tough Guy’ Powell, Calls Vietnam An ‘Abuser’, Says US Should Sue Tech Companies

On Wednesday, the president called Maria Bartiromo. It was quite something. 

Whenever Donald Trump calls into Fox for a telephone interview early in the morning, you know America is about to be treated to an incoherent, rambling stream of high-octane insanity.

That is not hyperbole. Some of the president’s most spectacular diatribes have come during call-in interviews with Fox anchors, who, until recently anyway, Trump could depend on to pitch him softballs and never push back.

Well, on Wednesday, the president called Maria Bartiromo. It was quite something.

On the Fed, Trump tore into Jerome Powell for the high crime of meekly pushing back on the president’s encroachments during remarks on Tuesday. Trump accused Powell of “trying to prove how tough he is”, and that’s not all. Listen to this:

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Powell was not, for the record, “trying to prove how tough he is”. What the Fed chair actually said on Tuesday is that the central bank’s independence is an “important institutional feature”. He also said “bad things happen when central banks lack independence”.

After lambasting Beijing for what seemed like an hour, Trump turned on Vietnam, whose exports to the US have surged thanks to the tariffs on China. Trump called Vietnam “almost the single worst abuser of everybody”, prompting a visibly bemused Bartiromo to ask “Are you going to put tariffs on Vietnam?”


Trump also said the US needs to sue America’s tech giants. “Look, we should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which, perhaps we will”, he said, reiterating the points he made during a similarly unhinged CNBC interview from earlier this month.


Speaking of tech, Trump alleged a vast conspiracy against him orchestrated by Twitter. “What they’re doing to me is incredible”, he said. Bartiromo (who has herself complained of “shadow banning”) was clearly angling to rile him up, and she succeeded.


On Mueller, Bartiromo managed to get Trump so angry that he began to literally shout into the phone about the special counsel having “terminated the emails”. “They’re gone. And that’s illegal”, the president said. “That’s a crime”.


All jokes aside, parts of this “interview” (which wasn’t an “interview” in any traditional sense of the word), were wholly incoherent. The following clip – which finds Trump expounding on the relative merits of tariffs – is almost unintelligible.


If this is indicative of the president’s state of mind headed into the G20, one has to feel sorry for the bevy of world leaders who will be forced to entertain him.

It’s probably not a stretch to suggest that Trump’s vent-a-thon with Bartiromo was at least partly inspired by the president’s desire to blow off some steam after Tuesday evening’s news that Mueller will be testifying in open session on July 17.



6 comments on “In Wild Bartiromo Call, Trump Mocks ‘Tough Guy’ Powell, Calls Vietnam An ‘Abuser’, Says US Should Sue Tech Companies

  1. A good s#/+, a full charge in the cell, a couple of snorts of Adderall and he’s rarin’ to go!

  2. Two observations:
    (1) On Powell: “…nobody ever heard of him before, and now–uh–I made him.”

    To some extent this is true, Fed Chairman is a prestigious economic position. But to boast that someone was completely “made” by the appointment, and thus had so little prior value, the logical conclusion is that that person was not really qualified for the job–especially where the position is all about experience and competency.’

    This can be explained away by Trump’s warped sense of value as a function of name-recognition, publicity, and ‘casting look’ (i.e., how well you look for the position–prime reason for Yellen getting canned). Nevertheless, it’s a pretty stunning portrait into how Trump thinks about identifying, vetting, and hiring “only the best people.”

    That is, they’re only “the best” until and as long as they’re Trump’s people. (see, “Dumb as a Rock and totally unequipped” Rex Tillerson).

    (2) On Tariffs: “…since tariffs have gone on our market has gone through the roof, if you know what I’m talking about.”

    Trump, like any armchair economist, clearly thinks he has identified the causal relations of the stock market. By his own admission, his calculus, based on a primordial narcissism, is elegantly simple: stock market high, what I’m doing caused it; stock market low, someone else is screwing me.

    This gets really scary when Trump is able to say that the stock market is at an all time high after his burgeoning trade wars (emphasis plural). Anyone who is holding out hope that tariffs will not be a major part of Trump’s foreign and trade policy moving forward should take a good hard look in the mirror.

    Or jump on the Trump Train and stop asking questions.

  3. That man is batshit crazy. What a scary situation for American and the world.

  4. Americans! Take the 25th!

  5. If you had a visual of a flock of ostriches with their heads in the sand and each one with a name tag of a prominent Republican Senator …

  6. This interview is almost as good as some of his interview with Hannity last week. Here’s a couple gems from that – “Sean, I’ve rebuilt the military, it was totally depleted, when I came in we had planes that were so old they couldn’t fly.”

    After Sean expresses his concerns about the escalation with Iran and worries about what the Russians and Chinese are really up to in the Middle East, Trump replies “Sean, don’t worry about a thing, everything’s under control”

    I almost fell off my chair laughing…

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