Trump's alternative reality
Trump in the White House Rose Garden yesterday. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP
President Trump "goes there, on just about every topic imaginable," as NBC's Brian Williams put it, during a pair of Q&As, two hours apart yesterday — one in the Cabinet Room and one with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Rose Garden.
Why it matters: It's almost impossible for the media to cover these press conferences — or for Republicans to discern what he wants and how he plans to get it — because Trump spreads fake news while calling real news fake. This isn't new. And, yes, 35% of voters don't seem to care. But that doesn't make it any less dangerous.
A look at Trump's alternative reality:
- Trump says he and McConnell are "closer than ever before." Both men and their staffs have been trashing each other in public and private for months.
- Trump says other presidents "didn't make calls" to families of soldiers killed in duty. They did.
- Trump says Obamacare is "dead." His repeated efforts to repeal it failed.
- Trump says it's been established that "no collusion" took place with the Russians. Bob Mueller is interrogating the president's associates and advisers on this very point in real time.
- Trump says he's on a historic pace of accomplishment. He's not.
- Trump says he "already" has "the votes right now" for a bipartisan health care fix. He doesn't.
Sound smart: The damnedest thing is not a single bullet point I just wrote is disputable — while every one of those things the president said was.
- On GOP senators: "I'm not going to blame myself, I'll be honest. They are not getting the job done."
- "Obamacare is finished. It's dead. It's gone. It's no longer — you shouldn't even mention. It's gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore."
- On Steve Bannon's war on McConnell and the Republican establishment: "Steve is ... a friend of mine ... I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from. ... I know how he feels. ... There are some Republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves."
- On whether he's considering firing Mueller: "No, not at all."
- "Oh, I hope Hillary runs. Is she going to run? I hope. Hillary, please run again."
P.S. Bannon tells me by email: "McConnell and the GOP Establishment have sown the wind — now be prepared the reap the whirlwind."