Lots of stuff has happened in the past couple of weeks while I’ve been in blog bardo. Much of this is real significant stuff with lots of implications. But after all the stress of dealing with web host tech support, right now I’m not up to taking on anything more complicated than beer. Maybe tomorrow.
The AP released part of the interview last week, but made a fuller transcript available late Sunday. You can read it in full here, but beware: It’s a doozy. The phrase “Donald Trump is unintelligible” was even a top trending topic on Twitter early Monday ― referring to the 16 instances where the AP marked parts of the transcript “unintelligible.” (Pace later told the Toronto Star that one of Trump’s aides was talking over him at those moments, and that the aide did not want their comments included in the transcript. The Star notes that “this is itself highly unusual.”)
I’m wondering who the aide was and what his or her function was. But the interview is all Trump. He’s bragging about how he’s the most wonderful president who ever was, and he’s genuinely surprised the press isn’t nicer to him (see Josh Marshall, “Trump: They Were Supposed to Love Me“).
At Vanity Fair, Tina Nguyen points out some of the more jaw-dropping moments of the interview. Like this one.
They had a quote from me that NATO’s obsolete. But they didn’t say why it was obsolete. I was on Wolf Blitzer, very fair interview, the first time I was ever asked about NATO, because I wasn’t in government. People don’t go around asking about NATO if I’m building a building in Manhattan, right? So they asked me, Wolf . . . asked me about NATO, and I said two things. NATO’s obsolete—not knowing much about NATO, now I know a lot about NATO—NATO is obsolete, and I said, ‘And the reason it’s obsolete is because of the fact they don’t focus on terrorism.’ You know, back when they did NATO there was no such thing as terrorism.”
Terrifying, right? It’s the verbal equivalent of mangled, three-day-old road kill.
We also learn that Rep. Elijah Cummings, off all people, told Trump he would be the greatest president ever. Somehow, I think Trump misheard.
Nguyeb also tells us that at one point, while Trump was off record, he discussed something he saw on CNN. Then later in the interview, he denied ever watching CNN. This stuff goes on and on; see also “Seven Baffling Moments From Donald Trump’s AP Interview” at HuffPo. See also the annotated transcript at Washington Post.
Please snark away. The comments are working now.