The Axios Interview

Originally posted on August 5, 2020

Last Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Axios’s Jonathon Swan interviewed Trump at the White House. I have mentioned one part of that interview, Trump’s comments about John Lewis, in a previous post. But there was so much more of Trump on display in that interview I thought I should write a post about the rest of it.

The interview runs for about 38 minutes and is one of the few times Trump has allowed himself to be interviewed by someone who doesn’t fawn over him. The only other recent interview of similar caliber was Fox’s Chris Wallace’s, during which Trump also displayed his usual alarming lack of coherence.

In what has to be the supreme act of self-sacrifice I’ve listened to all 38 minutes, just so you don’t have to. Here’s a few things I noticed where Trump is simply some combination of clueless and/or flat-ass wrong. The most obvious comment I have is that Trump hardly ever waits for a questioner to finish the question. He’ll take off on one of his rants and never even let the question get asked, let alone answer it. It’s like he is so glued to his talking points that he never even bothers thinking about what others might want to talk about.

If you don’t want to go through my tedious verbiage below, you might want to read this instead.

6:10 – By my count Trump tells three lies about his rally in Tulsa. (1) Tulsa was NOT doing so well with its Covid cases leading up to his rally there. I’ve posted on that myself. Tulsa’s case load was increasing rapidly leading up to the rally. (2) There were no large antifa (or any other) protests outside. (3) There were not 19,000 people there. I can only guess Trump just can’t admit anything he is a part of was a failure.

7:30 – Trump asserts the pandemic is “under control” and “it is what it is”. He may be just about the only person on earth who is saying this. Perhaps he is confusing “we doing everything possible” with “under control”, except the federal government isn’t “doing everything possible”, at least by any normal rational adult standards.

9:25 – Trump takes credit for getting the governors massive amounts of equipment, like providing this sort of support isn’t in his job description and he considers himself generous for what little he has provided. Trump claims handling this pandemic is the governors’ job, but simple efficiency (which is what you really want in a fight against a disease) would dictate the feds take the lead.

9:45 – Jonathon asks a fairly simple and important question – when will widespread testing be available? Trump never answers. Instead he brags about what testing we have done, and how all this testing drives up our case numbers.

13:15 – Trump shows his charts. They show deaths per cases, which makes no sense. Jonathon argues that deaths per population is a far more important and useful number. Trump doesn’t seem able to understand any of that and for the next 3 minutes tries to justify the nonsense that his charts show. This is where Trump uses his “many” references for justification, but never names them.

16:30 – Russian bounties. Trump says lots of people are calling the report “fake news”. When asked who, he never answers. He reclaims that it never reached his desk, when a number of people who would know say that it was in his daily briefing. When asked if he actually reads the briefing, he says he reads a lot, including the briefing. A number of people who again would know say that he doesn’t.

22:30 – Mail in voting. Trump claims they are automatically sending out millions of ballots. That is simply not true.

25:40 – Ghislane Maxwell. He wishes her well.

26:45 – Portland. Trump again blames antifa and anarchists for the riots. This certainly doesn’t agree with the video. Trump goes on and on about how violent the agitators were and how his troops have lessened the violence, a conclusion that does not square with all the local reports.

31:20 – Black Lives Matter and the protests. He repeats his claim that he has done more than anyone for blacks. Too bad that most blacks don’t agree.

34:20 – Trump’s claim that he’s done more for blacks than anyone except “possibly” Lincoln. Even more than Lyndon Johnson. Really? Trump’s sole “gift” to blacks has been the continuing expansion of the economy, at least until recently. And the continuation of Obama’s expansion has been driven by going into more and more debt, which cannot continue.

35:30 – John Lewis. I already posted on this.

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