On Friday, president Donald Trump sat down for an interview with the Associated Press’s Julie Pace, and what emerged was a conversation in a handy reminder that he is unfit to serve as president and should be removed ASAP.
During the interview, Trump lied about his policy accomplishments, interrupted himself, and went off on a series of incoherent rants. He bragged and boasted repeatedly — sometimes unprompted and using revisionist history — about what he’s accomplished in his first 100 days as president. He did this all while dismissing the idea that the 100-day threshold even matters, despite hailing that same standard dozen of times late in his 2016 campaign.
Some of the claims are truly remarkable, including that he may have given the greatest speech in the history of the House chamber and that a Democrat told him he’d be among the greatest presidents ever. He also just flat-out said he shouldn’t be bound by his 100-day promises.
Since Donald Trump took office, there was a sudden burst of interest in the 25th Amendment, that little bit of text that describes how the president may be removed from office if unfit to serve. With every interview which passes, Donald Trump shows why he really, really should be removed.
The AP released part of the interview last week. 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 ― a reference to the 16 times during the one-on-one interview where whatever the president said was apparently impossible to transcribe.
Trump has the unreasoning arrogance of a grade-school bully. Here are some of the interview’s most bizarre moments:
Shunning reality, Trump said he’s “mostly there” on fulfilling the promises of his first 100 days.
With the 100-day mark looming on April 29, the president has fallen short on every one of the legislative goals he set last year in his “100-day action plan.” Most notably, the Republican health care bill that Trump campaigned extensively for went down in flames. He has also failed to secure funding for the wall he’s hoping to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump claimed he’s never supported WikiLeaks, despite having repeatedly said otherwise.
When WikiLeaks published hacked Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump brought it up at his rallies at every opportunity. But on Friday, when asked about reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning to pursue charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Trump sang a different tune.
“Never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it,” he told the AP. “When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, ‘Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff’… I don’t support or unsupport.”
This is what he said back in October:
Donald Trump, October 10, 2016: “This just came out. WikiLeaks! I love WikiLeaks!” pic.twitter.com/KWP7X2aLiN
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2017
Trump said the Electoral College is “very difficult for a Republican to win” because it’s “so skewed” toward Democrats. It’s not.
Tell that to former Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, etc. As Newsweek explained last year, the Electoral College may actually have a slight bias toward Republicans, since Democratic voters are more likely to be concentrated in major cities:
Increasingly, Democratic voters live in large urban areas, and are concentrated in several parts of the country. There are more of them, somewhat, but they live in relatively compact geographic areas. This gives Republicans a mild advantage in the electoral college; Republican voters are more spread out, and the Electoral College system potentially over-represents them slightly as a part of the overall population.
He admitted that when he bashed NATO during his presidential campaign, he didn’t actually know what the alliance did. He also erroneously said that “back when they did NATO there was no such thing as terrorism.”
NATO was founded in 1949, but terrorism as a concept has been around for thousands of years. The term itself is rooted in the bloodshed of 18th-century post-revolution France.
Describing a meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Trump offered the following word salad:
“Well he said, you’ll be the greatest president in the history of, but you know what, I’ll take that also, but that you could be. But he said, will be the greatest president but I would also accept the other. In other words, if you do your job, but I accept that. Then I watched him interviewed and it was like he never even was here. It’s incredible. I watched him interviewed a week later and it’s like he was never in my office. And you can even say that.”
Trump was talking, sort of, about an encounter he had with Cummings in March. According to Trump, the Maryland Democrat told him he’d be one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history. According to Cummings, that’s not exactly how it went down.
He claimed the U.S.-Mexico border wall is “not going to be that expensive.”
Trump’s own estimate of the wall’s cost has dramatically shifted in the nearly two years since he first proposed it. Sometimes it’s $4 billion, sometimes it’s $12 billion. In his interview with the AP, Trump said “I think I’ll do it for $10 billion or less.” But experts, including in a Department of Homeland Security internal report, have suggested the actual cost could be over $20 billion.
He abruptly interrupted himself to offer AP reporter Julie Pace a soda.
Presented without comment:
TRUMP: [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping], we have a, like, a really great relationship. For me to call him a currency manipulator and then say, “By the way, I’d like you to solve the North Korean problem,” doesn’t work. So you have to have a certain flexibility, Number One. Number Two, from the time I took office till now, you know, it’s a very exact thing. It’s not like generalities. Do you want a Coke or anything?
AP: I’m OK, thank you.