Wednesday, August 21, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He called himself "the chosen one," which was one of the more modest things he said today.

Yesterday, Trump said that the roughly 79% of Jewish Americans who voted for Democrats in 2018 were "disloyal." Today, he tweet-quoted a conspiracy theorist who called him the "King of Israel."

Specifically, Trump approvingly cited Wayne Allyn Root. Root is, to put it mildly, a fringe figure. (His rant that Robert Mueller was motivated by jealousy over the size of Trump's penis is fairly typical.) What Trump wanted people talking about today was this Root quote:

President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world...and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God... But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!

Later in the day, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, Trump called himself "the chosen one." Normally, transcripts of Trump's press availabilities are posted almost immediately to the White House website, but this one has been delayed without explanation. (A transcript can be viewed here.) During that brief appearance, Trump also said:

  • that calling American Jews "disloyal," echoing the Nazi regime's accusations against German Jews, was "only anti-Semitic in your head"
  • that he would be president for "six years — or maybe ten or fourteen."
  • that an epidemic of veteran suicides would be cured by a new drug
  • that the Prime Minister of Denmark was a "rude" and "nasty" woman who "used a terrible word" ["absurd"] when refusing to discuss the sale of Greenland
  • that it was okay for Russia to rejoin the G8 because its invasion of Crimea—which is what got it expelled—had happened during President Obama's term
  • that "the fake news, of which many of you are members, is trying to convince the public to have a recession"
  • that the trade war he started in March of 2018 "isn't my trade war"
  • that Americans buying Chinese goods amounted to China stealing from the United States
  • that NBC News should ask him easier questions because he'd been an NBC employee when he was on The Apprentice
  • that "frankly," the shooting victims who refused to meet with him in El Paso "love their President"
  • that he could use an executive order to override the Fourteenth Amendment's provision that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States"

Trump also said something somewhat more in touch with reality during today's press gaggle: that he's the favorite to be re-nominated by the Republican Party for 2020. But his mental health is becoming a topic of increasingly open discussion among Republicans lately, including arch-conservative former Rep. Joe Walsh, who is expected to enter the race. 

What's the problem here?

  • Nobody who says any of these things, much less all of them in half an hour, is mentally healthy enough to serve as president.