Once upon a time there was a president, a leader, and he tried to do the right thing for the people who had elected him. Some of the people did not like him and made up stories about his religion, his birthplace, and anything else they could think of. They said they hated him, and they rallied against everything he wanted to do to try to help the people. But he was a kind and benevolent leader, well-reasoned and being possessed of an even temperament, and he did not respond to their taunts. Eventually, as must happen at least every eight years, he was replaced by another, a man possessed of a sharp, untruthful tongue, a man who thought only of himself and cared not one whit for the people who had elected him. When the first leader spoke to the people at an event called a ‘news conference’, he used the opportunity to present information about things that were important to the people, to the nation. He informed, he sometimes joked briefly with the reporters, and he always tried to explain what he and his team were doing and why it was important. But when ‘the other’ came along, he rarely spoke at these news conferences, but he held rallies to tell the people lies about how great he was. And when he did speak to the people, it was ugly-speak. He spoke in an ugly language, criticized most everyone, threatened, bullied and spoke falsely about what a great job he was doing. And the people, most of the people, cried and asked themselves, “What have we done?” And they did not live happily ever after …
The ’other’, of course, is none other than Donald Trump. Last evening, he gave a press conference whereby he bashed Hillary Clinton for her election loss, criticized former President Obama, praised himself, and went to great lengths to assure every one of his “outstanding” relationship with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell was at Trump’s side, looking rather like a recalcitrant child or an obedient house pet. Trump’s speech was relatively short, a lot of tooting his own horn, but the more interesting parts came with the rather lengthier Q&A session afterward. Let us take a look at a few of the ‘highlights’ … as always, my snarky remarkys are in blue italics.
Trump: What Mitch will tell you is that maybe, with the exception of a few — and that is a very small few — I have a fantastic relationship with the people in the Senate, and with the people in Congress. (This came totally unsolicited, as a response to a completely unrelated question.)
Reporter: Why haven’t we heard anything from you so far about the Soldiers that were killed in Niger? And what do you have to say about that?
Trump: I’ve written them personal letters. They’ve been sent, or they’re going out tonight, but they were written during the weekend. I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families — because I have done that, traditionally. I felt very, very badly about that. I always feel badly. It’s the toughest — the toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed. It’s a very difficult thing. Now, it gets to a point where, you know, you make four or five of them in one day — it’s a very, very tough day. For me, that’s by far the toughest. (Aye, pobrecito!!!) So, the traditional way — if you look at President Obama and other Presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice. So, generally, I would say that I like to call. I’m going to be calling them. I want a little time to pass. I’m going to be calling them. I have — as you know, since I’ve been President, I have. But in addition, I actually wrote letters individually to the soldiers we’re talking about, and they’re going to be going out either today or tomorrow. (Multiple points here. 1) The Green Berets killed in Niger were killed on October 4th, fully 12 days before this speech. 2) It is highly unlikely that Trump wrote any letters, but more likely that someone on his staff hastily wrote them, if they have even been written, once Trump came under criticism. Trump spent the weekend at his golf course. 3) President Obama not only called the families of slain soldiers, but in some cases even visited them.)
Reporter: Mr. President, in 2012 you tweeted that “Obama’s complaints about Republicans stopping his agenda are BS,” in your words, “since he had full control for two years.” You wrote, “He can never take responsibility.” But today, you’ve said about some of the challenges right now in Congress and in Washington, “I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest. They’re not getting the job done.” So what’s different then than now? (Oooh … good one!)
Trump: Well, let me just explain what’s different. We have nominations pending right now, and we have 182 approved — if you look at this: the number that he had approved was 65 percent and 70 percent, and we have 39 percent. They’re holding up every single nomination. (Did he answer the question and I missed it?)
Reporter: How about the agenda broadly?
Trump: Schumer and the group are holding up every single nomination. They are obstructing. They’re doing — I’m telling you, they’re not good politicians, but they’re very good at obstruction. (But I thought Schumer and Pelosi were his new, best friends?)
Reporter: If it would help you — if it would help Special Counsel Robert Mueller get to the end of the Russia investigation, would you –
Trump: Well, I’d like to see it end. Look, the whole Russian thing was an excuse –
Reporter: Would you –
Trump: Excuse me. Excuse me. The whole Russia thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election, and it turns out to be just one excuse. I mean, today Hillary blamed Nigel Farage. That one came out of nowhere. So that was just an excuse for the Democrats losing an election that, frankly, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. They should always be able to win in the Electoral College, but they were unable to do it. So there has been absolutely no collusion. It’s been stated that they have no collusion. They ought to get to the end of it because I think the American public is sick of it. (No, Mr. Trump, the American public is not sick of it. The American public wants answers and it is clear to any who can see, hear and think, that you and your team have, in fact, colluded with Russia.)
Reporter: Mr. President, in the wake of an avalanche of allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, your campaign is being subpoenaed for any documents relating to sexual harassment allegations made against you. Do you have a response to that?
Trump: All I can say is it’s totally fake news. It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff, and it’s disgraceful what happens. But that’s happens in the world of politics. (There has, in fact, been a subpoena for those documents.)
Reporter: Do you maintain that the federal response [to Puerto Rico] has been outstanding?
Trump: Oh, I think — well, that’s according to the Clinton administration’s head of FEMA, it’s been outstanding. Puerto Rico is very tough because of the fact it’s an island. (REALLY???) But it’s also tough because, as you know, it was in very poor shape before the hurricanes ever hit. Their electrical grid was destroyed before the hurricanes got there. It was in very bad shape, was not working, was in bankruptcy, owed $9 billion. And then on top of that, the hurricane came. Now, you’re going to have to build a whole new electrical plant system. We’re not talking about generators. We moved — Puerto Rico now has more generators, I believe, than any place in the world. There are generators all over the place. The fact is, their electrical system was in horrible shape before and even worse shape after. So we are working right now — as you know, relief funds were just approved and are in the process of being approved by Congress. And that includes Texas, by the way. That includes Florida. And it also includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, et cetera. But it was in really bad shape before. We have done — I will say this, we have done – (No snarky remarky required here … he does it to himself)
Reporter: Mr. President, in an interview earlier today, Hillary Clinton said that she did not believe that players taking a knee in the NFL was about disrespecting the flag — at complete odds with the way that you have referred to this. You fired back in a tweet saying that you hope that she runs again in 2020. Why –
Trump: Oh, I hope Hillary runs. Is she going to run? I hope. Hillary, please run again.
Reporter: So she’s at odds with you over whether or not this is disrespecting the flag. Is she right or is she wrong?
Trump: I think she’s wrong. Look, when they take a knee — there’s plenty of time to do knees and there’s plenty of time to do lots of other things. But when you take a knee – But when you take a knee — well, that’s why she lost the election. Honestly, it’s that thinking — that is the reason she lost the election. (Who knew?)
There is much more, but I have already far exceeded my self-imposed word limit. And, I have run out of patience for tonight … there is only so much of this one can take. You can read the full transcript or watch the full video (1 hour 17 minutes), if you are a masochist and really want to do so.
And thus ends this chapter in the fairy tale book, but we are a long way from the end of the book. Let us hope that there is a Prince Charming to come rescue us … perhaps his name is Robert Mueller?