Before Donald Trump became president, Peter Navarro was a disreputable academic whose economic “theories” weren’t generally taken seriously by his peers.
Over the course of the Trump presidency, Peter has gone from “standing joke” to “villain”, thanks largely to the fact that he’s refused to adapt his “Death By China” mantra to the realities of international diplomacy and markets.
Navarro has a history of clashing with Steve Mnuchin and anyone else who’s any semblance of rational in the administration, but recently, Peter’s frustrations have spilled over into a series of extraordinarily combative media appearances including a dubious cameo on CNBC this week.
On Friday, Navarro’s vampire-like visage materialized on CNN, where he spoke to Jim Sciutto about news that Trump may have promised to remain silent on pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong on a June 18 call with Xi Jinping, during which the two leaders reportedly discussed Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
Obviously, you’d expect someone like Navarro – whose entire career is based on maligning China and painting Beijing as a nefarious global actor – to be aghast at the prospect of a US president selling out pro-democracy protesters and publicly calling for Xi to investigate a political rival.
Unsurprisingly, Peter’s hatred towards all things China does not extend to Trump’s interactions with Xi over Biden and Hong Kong.
“Are you disappointed that the president hasn’t made a public statement in support of the protests?”, Sciutto asked. “I’m never disappointed in my president”, an obsequious Navarro responded, as only an unthinking sycophant would.
“When you heard the president yesterday call on China to investigate an American – you and I have spoken multiple times about how China breaks international law–“, Sciutto pressed.
“Come on here”, Navarro stammered, sensing he was about to be cornered. “Is this like an interrogation here?”, a desperate Peter asked, trying in vain to keep Sciutto from asking the question.
“I feel like Adam Schiff is sitting here”, Navarro shamelessly remarked.
“I’m a journalist, and I ask questions”, Sciutto responded.
“This is like Witch Hunt version 2”, Navarro attempted.
“The president said on the White House lawn yesterday that authoritarian China should investigate an American”, Sciutto insisted.
Asked repeatedly whether that is acceptable, Navarro simply would not answer. Instead, he called Schiff a sociopath, said the impeachment inquiry is “a witch hunt” and asked Sciutto if he would “grant that Trump is the greatest president in history standing up to China”.
Sciutto was at a loss.
And so is every sane American.