Gaslighting, lies, propaganda; interview was Trump at his worse
So I finally watched the much-hyped interview of President Donald Trump and Axios reporter Jonathan Swan and it’s even worse than you think. Trump is known for his gibbering, fact-free answers, but this was him at his worst. The Axios interview is essentially a 30-minute ad for why Trump shouldn’t be president. After I watched the interview, I felt like I had a concussion. The lies and the derangement on display are that jarring. I walked away from the interview with two thoughts. How did this man ever get elected president? And why does he still have supporters?
But we really shouldn’t be surprised by Trump’s performance. This is vintage Trump. During the debates with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, he gave a rambling, incoherent answer to a Syria question. Four years of the most stressful job in the world and Trump has only gotten worse. Even Stevie Wonder can see he’s way over his head and ill-equipped for the rigors of the presidency. I could write a 2,000-word article fact-checking all the errors in the Axios interview, but instead, here are five of the craziest outtakes.
The Axios interview is essentially a 30-minute ad for why Trump shouldn’t be president. After I watched the interview, I felt like I had a concussion. The lies and the derangement on display are that jarring. I walked away from the interview with two thoughts. How did this man ever get elected president? And why does he still have supporters?
Trump thinks we’re doing a great job on the coronavirus
It’s evident that when Trump hears news that he doesn’t like, he simply disregards it. That was on display in the Axios interview. He claimed that we were doing a great job on handling the coronavirus. Naturally, Swan pushed back on this. Trump tried to snow him with figures looking at the disease from different points of view. But he came across as a confused, old man waving pieces of paper in the air.
The United States has more than 150,000 coronavirus -related deaths and more than 5 million infections. Those are the highest numbers in the world. Brazil is second with almost half as many infections and 100,000 fatalities. Not long ago, New York was storing corpses in refrigerated trucks and burying unclaimed bodies in mass graves. The disease has surged on the West Coast (California is considering a second shutdown) and it’s rapidly spreading to the Mid West and the South. Those regions also have largely underfunded healthcare systems. It’s bad and it’s getting worse.
The political debate that has not been | Data Driven Investor
The New York Times got a lot of heat after it published online on June 3, 2020, a column by Arkansas Senator Tom…
‘When you test, you get more cases’
He repeated this lie during the Axios interview. Trump is so delusional he can’t understand basic facts. And instead of learning and processing new information, he just doubles down on the BS. This is a classic gaslighting technique. Instead of admitting an error, Trump tries to browbeat you into believing the lie.
Testing only reveals people who have the disease. Once you test positive, you can quarantine and avoid spreading the disease to more people. That’s one of the ways to flatten the curve. But Trump doesn’t seem to understand this. He seems to believe that if he ignores, the coronavirus epidemic it will go away. That doesn’t work for cancer and it won’t work for COVID-19.
‘Children just get the sniffles’
Here Trump implies that the coronavirus is harmless for young children. No, it’s not. COVID-19 has claimed several young victims. This is propaganda to get schools to reopen. And as always, Trump doesn’t provide any reliable data or sources to back this up. However, teachers and parents are pushing back against this.
Some teachers are preparing their wills in the event they fall sick. And the school reopening hasn’t gone well so far. According to The Hill, the Sixes Elementary in Cherokee County, Georgia shut down after one day of operation. A teacher and 20 students had to quarantine after a second-grader tested positive for COVID-19.
Trump dismisses Russian bounty information
When Swan confronted Trump about Russia paying bounties for American soldiers killed in Afghanistan, he dismissed it. He claimed he hadn’t addressed the issue with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But then he claimed it was unsubstantiated, even though the Navy SEALs recently raided an Afghan home and found a stash of money. Intelligence sources have also traced payments to the Taliban.
When confronted with this Trump, claimed he was never briefed about this, (he was,) then bragged about how much he read. On Tuesday, he mispronounced “Yosemite.” That shows how well he pays attention to detail.
John Lewis, Black Americans
Towards the end of the interview, Swan asked the president to say something nice about Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who recently died. Lewis was a civil rights legend, who got his skull cracked marching for voting rights, and a part of American history. But Trump just couldn’t do it. Instead, he claimed he didn’t know him and complained about Lewis’ not attending his inauguration. This was a personal slight to the notoriously thin-skinned president.
Trump also fell back on a familiar lie claiming he had been “the best president for African Americans.” However, although Trump frequently repeats this, it’s not objectively true. Trump has praised white nationalists, appointed several actual neo-Nazis to his administration, encouraged police violence and referred to African countries as “sh*thole countries.”
At least two people close to him, former lawyer Michael Cohen and niece Mary Trump, have described him as a racist. He was sued for refusing to rent homes to Black people in the 1970s and Trump once tried to avoid naming a Black man winner of his reality show “The Apprentice.” Life has become more dangerous and difficult for African Americans under the Trump administration, and two important statistics prove this. African Americans are buying more guns for self-protection and hate crimes are increasing.
However, Swan’s interview has given other reporters a blueprint on how to confront Trump. Fact-check everything, demand verification, pushback on false statements. The dam also seems to be breaking on Trump, and some former fans are beginning to realize that the emperor doesn’t have any clothes.
Consider this comment from British media star Piers Morgan, a contestant on “The Apprentice” who considers himself a personal friend of Trump.
“America is being overrun by coronavirus because its narcissistic President has put his personal ego before doing his job — from spewing his dangerous ‘cure’ theories to trashing his top medical experts if they dare to speak the truth and boasting inanely about his covid news conference TV ratings,” said Morgan in a Daily Mail column. “Trump’s made the crisis all about him, not the American people.”
Gain Access to Expert View — Subscribe to DDI Intel