Trump Won’t Even Be Able to Fake Doing This Job

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Trump Maladministration

This White House presser happened today, and it is more than disturbing.

I take it Hair Führer is angry that people are dissing his inauguration because of the subdued size of the crowd. Very likely the YUGE demonstrations today really rubbed it in.

So Press Secretary Sean Spicer called in the reporters and, surrounded by blown up photographs of yesterday’s crowd, he argued that Trump’s inauguration WAS TOO the most bigly attended inauguration EVER. Actual quote: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration. Period. Both in person and around the globe.” And, of course, it wasn’t.

But it gets worse. Spicer is clearly angry. He is practically sputtering. HOW DARE the press even suggest Trump’s inauguration was not as well attended as other inaugurations! Spicer is also upset because a Time magazine reporter tweeted, erroneously, that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King from the oval office. This was part of a pool report, so it got picked up in a few places before it was corrected.

However, whether Spicer’s clear distress is coming from righteous anger or something else is hard to tell. Maybe he’s angry that he’s being forced to have this ridiculous presser. Or, maybe Spicer is rattled because Dear Leader heaped some blistering verbal abuse on him about allowing the media to get away with actual reporting.

And at the end, he actually issues a threat. The Trump Administration will “hold the press accountable” — his very words — for reports that displease Dear Leader. Whether the penalties will be a stockade or walking on hot coals or something else, we do not yet know.

If Trump is getting this worked up over trivialities like this, a real crisis is going to blow his fuses. I can see him curled up in a fetal position in his gilded bathroom somewhere while Spicer and Ivanka make excuses for him to the media.

Spicer also talks about a brief visit Trump made today to CIA headquarters. That was bizarre, also. There was an open invitation to CIA employees to attend, and the 400 who showed up cheered and clapped a lot. But not everyone was happy. Politico reports:

Standing on hallowed ground at the Langley headquarters, in front of the wall of stars carved into marble to represent each of the 117 CIA agents who have died in service to the country, Trump lashed out at his critics, boasted of his appearances on magazine covers and exaggerated about the size of the crowd at his inauguration.

He also hinted at loosening rules on torture put in place under President Barack Obama, promised to wipe “radical Islamic terrorism… off the face of the earth” and pledged his full backing to the CIA.

“I am so behind you,“ Trump said, adding, “You’re gonna get so much backing. Maybe you’re gonna say, please, don’t give us so much backing, Mr. President, please, we don’t need that much backing.”

However, not everyone was pleased.

“The proper way to do it was wait for [incoming CIA director Mike] Pompeo to get confirmed, to do it on a weekday, to do it for the larger CIA population but to make it private and answer questions,” one former CIA officer said. “This was a waste of time.”

“Former CIA Dir Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes. Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself,” Brennan’s former deputy chief of staff, Nick Shapiro, said on Twitter.

Talking Points Memo reports also:

It was a strange juxtaposition: a President, standing before the memorial wall at the CIA that honors the lives lost by agency officers as he talked about crowd size and his intelligence. According to the pool report, there were about 400 CIA employees at the agency Saturday. At first, the cheering came from across the crowd, but the pooler noted that as the speech continued, the senior officials in the front grew “subdued.”

“Probably almost everybody in this room voted for me but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did but I guarantee a big portion because we’re all on the same wavelength,” Trump said.

And, Trump basically just talked about himself.

It seemed at every turn, Trump would pivot to himself. As he talked about his choice to lead the CIA Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump noted that he himself was smart.

“I met him and I said, he is so good. Number one in his class at West Point. I know a lot about West Point, and I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at M.I.T. for 35 years, who did a fantastic job in so many ways,” Trump said. “He was an academic genius, and then they say, there’s Donald Trump, an intellectual, trust me, I’m like a smart person.”

Then, when he talked about wanting to help America win again, he noted how young he felt.

“When I was young and I feel young, I feel like I’m 30, 35, 39, somebody said, ‘Are you young? I said, ‘I think I’m young.’ You know, I was stopping when we were in the final month of the campaign, four stops, five stops, seven stops. Speeches, speeches, in front of 25,000, 35,000 people, 15,000, 19,000, from stop to stop,” Trump said. ” I feel young. When I was young, we were always winning things in this country. Would win with trade. Would win with wars. And at a certain age, I remember hearing from one of my instructors the United States has never lost a war. And then after that, it’s like, we haven’t won anything.”

Who does this? (See TPM for the video.)

George W. Bush didn’t know what he was doing, either, but as the son of a president he understood the protocols. He knew how to go through the motions properly. Trump can’t even do that.

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22 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 21, 2017 @8:52 pm

    It took a few years for people to realize that Ol’ Dutch Reagan – that noted ancient Irish movie B-actor – was morphing into a potato.

    t-RUMP apparently comes in as a double-fried french-fry.

  2. goatherd  •  Jan 21, 2017 @11:36 pm

    Wow, that was embarrassing, especially as compared with the eloquence of other Press Secretaries, like Bill Moyers, for example.

    Cund—, My dear saintly mother was a life long Republican, but, “Dubya” was the goute qui deborder la vase. She would have voted for Obama. When it came out officially that Reagan had fewer marbles than advertised, she remarked, ” I thought something was wrong with him.” But, of course, she voted for him anyway.

    With Trump there is a round robin of appalling things, but frequently, his remarkable superficiality comes into view. It’s really kind of amazing. Who would trade life experiences with someone like that? He seems to lack the capacity to engage the world at any meaningful level. I guess that clears the way for sociopathy.

    Another mystery solved!

  3. Swami  •  Jan 22, 2017 @1:41 am

    Sure the video is disturbing.. But it’s also reassuring in that it shows the chinks in Trump’s armor. Trump is putting his vulnerability front and center in an effort to protect his insecurities. Nobody is immune from the effects of criticism, and even though it might appear that he is impervious to its immediate effects, and will fire back confidently with his own imaginings, it will cumulatively take its toll and destroy any vestige of credibility people will grant him.
    With the amount of exposure he now has in the limelight it won’t be long before his emotional illness manifests to the point where he becomes a political pariah. Even the most diehard of his sycophants will be scrambling for distance as his facade steadily erodes.
    I think Spicer’s anger is just a conveyance of the message exactly as he received it. Shame is well within my range of emotions, but when the call to experience it emanates from an external source I have a natural tendency to reject it outright.

  4. Ajay  •  Jan 22, 2017 @1:50 am

    Trump is a white male Republican. The Idiots will vote for him again. And again; with or without Putin.

  5. Mike G  •  Jan 22, 2017 @4:08 am

    His speech patterns are reminding me more of Sarah Palin. A few stock phrases repeated over and over, and a puerile focus on himself.

  6. paradoctor  •  Jan 22, 2017 @4:30 am

    “You’re gonna get so much backing. Maybe you’re gonna say, please, don’t give us so much backing, Mr. President, please, we don’t need that much backing.”

    O.
    M.
    G.
    Is this Trump babbling, or is it a cry for help? Or perhaps both at once? It’s as if he knows but dares not admit that he’s a Typhoid Mary of failure; everything he touches he breaks; nobody anywhere with any intelligence wants his help.

    He’s told this joke before. “We’ll win so much you’ll get sick of winning.” Well, yes, I am completely nauseated by his notion of winning.

    Now I think both jokes have a… rapey… vibe.

  7. Bardi  •  Jan 22, 2017 @8:08 am

    When I heard he went to Arlington, I thought he was going to place flowers at the grave of his bone spurs that kept him out of conflict. I heard there was a small quake, as all the dead turned over.

    Leadership comes not out of a narcissistic ass, but from humility, something I have yet to see.

  8. goatherd  •  Jan 22, 2017 @9:46 am

    AARRGGHH! That should be, “la goutte qui fait déborder le vase.” I really need to proofread.

    Our county has a higher than average poverty rate. But, nothing like what Maha describes in “Deal with the Devil.” We DO have wall to wall evangelicals. With a population of just over 10,000, there were over 250 churches in the yellow pages, back when there was such a thing as yellow pages. Of course my wife got into political discussions at work, where it is common for people to combine their religion and faith. The common wisdom came out of “tough love” and the “prosperity gospel.” Pretty much, most people seem to have a deep resentment of people getting a handout, and have convinced themselves that a little more suffering will be good for their soul. Evangelicals also seem to have a tolerance for torture, it’s so “Biblical.”

    At this point, my evangelical friends are in “return to civility” mode, as they always are after they win an election cycle. Most of them were silent for a while after the election, but, now, they think we should all celebrate and get behind our new leader. It’s going to take something catastrophic to drop the scales from their eyes.

  9. goatherd  •  Jan 22, 2017 @9:54 am

    I ran across this last night.
    https://youtu.be/YSh5zvuQ60s

  10. csm  •  Jan 22, 2017 @12:12 pm

    Kellyanne Conway snaps at Chuck Todd
    http://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/kellyanne-conway-snaps-at-chuck-todd-sean-spicers-lies-about-crowd-size-are-alternative-facts/

    The Toddler showed some spine here, and I think “mainstream” media vehicles and personages like MTP and Todd, respectively, will have no choice but to push back hard, lest they be reduced to total chumps:

    “Conway tried to deflect, but the host pressed on: ‘You sent the press secretary out there to utter a falsehood on the smallest, pettiest thing. And I don’t understand why you did it.'”

    “‘I don’t think you can prove those numbers one way or the other,’ the Trump aide opined. ‘You can laugh at me all you want. You are, and I think it’s actually symbolic of the way we’re treated by the press. I’ll just ignore it. I’m bigger than that. I’m a kind and gracious person.'”

    A “kind and gracious person” doesn’t routinely mislead with baldfaced lies, and when exposed fall into high dudgeon and demand they be treated with respect.

  11. Swami  •  Jan 22, 2017 @4:55 pm
  12. Bill  •  Jan 22, 2017 @5:08 pm

    Shouldn’t a POTUS have come up with a better commentary for obvious low turnout, than “They’re lying”?

    I’d think “Mark my deeds. Maybe not today, but tomorrow I shall win you over!” or even “Disbelievers, ye all shall overcomb, someday!” would have been better.

    Rule1 from the POTUS Rulebook: If you don’t want to always have to make up stupid shit to cover up stupid shit you’ve said, then don’t say stupid shit to begin with.

    But yeah, I think unlike with St. Dubya, where the disapproval took a while to develop, such obvious displays of weakness so early on won’t serve the Golden Oy very well.

  13. aj  •  Jan 22, 2017 @5:12 pm

    Friday night I saw a few clips of Donald Dick at one of the balls , onstage complaining to the crowd about his enemies and dishonest media. H could not even dance with his wife without devolving into the usual harangues.
    His ego is a huge empty balloon that needs constant refilling.
    This is his weakness, goad him until he pops.

  14. aj  •  Jan 22, 2017 @6:55 pm

    I am really glad that Kelley Anne got laughed at. I think that would be the best response to the incessant lying.
    I wonder how long it will take for the boy who whines to be simply ignored.

  15. priscianus jr  •  Jan 22, 2017 @11:44 pm

    Carl Bernstein is totally on target about this election and where it shows us to be as a country. Not in a good place. And unlike so many, for Bernstein criticizing Trump does not require praising Hillary, and criticizing Hillary does not mean buying into the right-wing fantasies about her.
    http://realchangenews.org/2016/12/21/prophetic-view-idiot-culture

  16. Doug  •  Jan 22, 2017 @11:54 pm

    Why was Trump visiting the CIA on his first day in office. Obviously, he wanted to be out of town to pretend the Women’s March didn’t happen. But what does it mean that he went out to Langley tell these people that he didn’t compare the Intel community to the Nazis? They know he did. I saw him give a 15-minute speech promising them ‘backing’ and a free hand where they might have been held back.

    But why was he there? Collecting the file(s) that might implicate him with Russia? I don’t know but if there’s something there, Trump might just want to know – who knows – how much and who else has been told. Just speculation, but if there’s something there, Trump might be impatient to get that under control. I saw the speech – BFD – the speech was pure crap. Who did Trump talk to in private and what did he ask? I won’t live long enough to know.

  17. GH  •  Jan 23, 2017 @2:40 am

    I think in one way you’re underestimating the TA (is that a fitting abbreviation for the Groper in Chief’s rein or what?) The sideshow that took place this weekend was not ~all~ about Trump’s ego and insecurities. Especially not the press conference where so much was made about so little.
    I believe it’s part of the process of de-legitimizing the press and as such is nothing to laugh at.
    Basic rule of dictators is to sew confusion and no better way to do it than to make the institutions that are supposed to keep us informed and the government accountable “the enemy”.
    They make such a show of anger over the size of the crowd (which, in reality was not far off from many other inauguration in recent history, it’s just that the historic election of a balck president in ’08 set a really high mark). but they make such a show about this little thing so that when the big issues come up his supporters and even some of the vast non-political middle, won’t know who or what to believe.
    To quote a piece by Ezra Klein topday; “It’s not difficult to imagine the Trump administration disputing bad jobs numbers in the future, or claiming their Obamacare replacement covers everyone when it actually throws millions off insurance.”
    The true believers already shout “FAKE NEWS!” when ever something that remotely rattles their world view comes up.
    Another quote that I’ve been seeing around…
    “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
    1984
    This is not just a side show, it’s a strategy.

  18. elkern  •  Jan 23, 2017 @2:32 pm

    I’m concerned that we’re having too much fun attacking the easy target – Trump – when the bigger long-term danger is the Republicans who control Congress.

    Yes, Trump could blow up the whole world – by mistake, or more likely, in a petulant fit – but he’s not capable of concerted action toward any large goal.

    But the GOP Congress IS GOING TO:

    – destroy our Safety Net, starting with ACA
    – Transfer our remaining wealth to the top .01%
    – let our planet soak in CO2
    – privatize Everything (a la Yeltsin)
    – make lotsa things illegal (abortion, same-sex marriage)
    – run up the deficit, creating ANOTHER financial bubble, which will inevitably burst
    – gah, that’s enough, isn’t it???

  19. Bill  •  Jan 23, 2017 @4:07 pm

    Recent history has demonstrated that an overreach by one side, results in a backlash where the other side gets its chance. But yeah, I’m concerned that in the long run, the only lasting result of such pendulum swings is more power being transferred to that .01%

  20. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jan 23, 2017 @4:37 pm

    I thought it was odd that he was also playing his childish braggadocio with a room full of spies.

    “I am so behind you and I know maybe sometimes you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted and you’re going to get so much backing,” Trump told the intel community with whom he has feuded. “Maybe you’ll say, ‘don’t give us so much backing. Mr. President, please, we don’t need that much backing,’ But you’re going to have that, and I think everybody in this room knows it.”

    That might work on a campaign stop – a cute bit of pretending he’s going to be SO helpful and SO successful. But these are real people, in the metaphorical trenches. I would hope that even the most partisan zealot would be thinking “who the *hell* talks like that here? Is he really as bad as those goldurn liberals claim?”

  21. Swami  •  Jan 23, 2017 @6:14 pm

    LongHairedWeirdo …Trump thinks the CIA wants to use torture as an interrogation method. He doesn’t realise that they are consummate professionals who have no desire to resort to primitive techniques that will tarnish their image. They’ll outsource the dirty work to keep their hands clean if it comes down to that. They are not the thugs that Trumps seems to envision them as.
    Trump’s little speech at the CIA was nothing more than his slobbering his insecurities over them with a tacit abdication of his responsibilities. A true leader would have thanked them for the outstanding job they have thus far done in keeping America safe and reminded them that they will be held to the standard of excellence that befits them and is required of them by the American people..

    You don’t put your head down to a subordinate by claiming that you’ve got their back. He’s supposed to be their leader, not their friend. And as he has shown so far he’s more interested in being liked than being respected. I guess he missed that lesson when he dodged his military service.
    I could be wrong..considering that after all the sleaze bag antics he has demonstrated in the past, it might be a more attainable pursuit to be liked then to be respected..

  22. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jan 24, 2017 @12:16 pm

    Swami, I’m not sure I agree with you re: the CIA and torture. I know the FBI was criticizing the CIA over torture during the W Bush years. I hope so! It’s scary how they use SERE to justify it. In SERE training, every trainee ends up signing a confession to war crimes – that’s part of the point, to show anyone can be broken.

    But you do raise a good point. That is not how a leader approaches his workers, no matter how well he likes them.

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