Donald Trump is nuts. I said it. He is unhinged, mentally unstable, a maniac who lies like it is normal behavior. He rants, he makes things up, then lies about them, either backtracking and saying he never said what we all know he said or repeating lies so many times that they start to seem true (to his sycophants).
For a while his staff have tried to keep him on script, except for Twitter. He hasn't really taken any questions, except for a one-off on the tarmac. He hasn't done a press conference in months and has avoided sit-down interviews.
Today the New York Times scored a one-on-one, recorded interview. With no staff or lawyers present. It appears the White House didn't even know it happened until they were called for comment.
Here are some quotes, although the entire article is "must read":
Regarding the Russia Investigation:
“It makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position,” Mr. Trump said of the investigation. “So the sooner it’s worked out, the better it is for the country.”
Regarding the Justice Department and their investigation of Hillary Clinton, he went full authoritarian:
“I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”
When asked about legislation, he bragged:
“I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.”
He also distanced himself from Paul Manafort:
“Paul only worked for me for a few months. Paul worked for Ronald Reagan. His firm worked for John McCain, worked for Bob Dole, worked for many Republicans for far longer than he worked for me. And you’re talking about what Paul was many years ago before I ever heard of him. He worked for me for — what was it, three and a half months?”
Well, that is 11 full Anthony Scaramuccis....
Regarding the "fake news" and the media, which he both despises and depends on:
“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. “Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times.
So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K.”
And on that note, he went back to golfing. Oops, I mean "working."
One might wonder why the New York Times allowed this interview to continue with absolutely no pushback on any of his claims. Why didn't they ask him what a co-pay is, since he claimed to understand everything about health care? Why didn't they ask him about technical aspects of the billionaire tax cut bill? Why didn't they ask him which "Democrats" have exonerated him from accusation of collusion with the Russians?
Why did they think letting him ramble without any challenges to his claims was a good idea?
Canadian reporter Daniel Dale is keeping track of the lies he told, based on the full transcript of the interview.
Click the tweet to see the full thread.