Donald Trump gave a meandering impromptu interview to the press corps Wednesday in which he touched on issues ranging from the Niger mission he claimed he didn't authorize to his own superior intellectual capacities and how "extremely nice and extremely respectful" he was to the widow of slain soldier Sgt. La David Johnson.
Frankly, there was too much outlandishness to cover in one blog post, but let's hit some central points from the presser, which aired on MSNBC. First, Trump claimed complete ownership over the military yet said he didn't authorize the fateful Niger mission. Instead, he scapegoated his generals for the mission that resulted in the deaths of four American soldiers.
Asked by reporters whether he gave the go-ahead for the operation, Trump said: "No I didn’t. Not specifically.”
But just after that, Trump declared the very same generals as his own, not America's.
With that being said, my generals and my military, they have decision-making ability. As far as the incident that we're talking about, I've been seeing it just like you've been seeing it, I've been getting reports, they have to meet the enemy and they meet him tough and that's what happens.
Right. Well, thanks for that clarity. Not the first time Trump's thrown his generals under the bus.
In February, Trump also blamed the generals when a US Navy SEAL was killed in Yemen. He said: "this was something that was, you know, just -- they wanted to do...and they lost Ryan." https://t.co/9toupMJXcP
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) October 25, 2017
Moving on to Sgt. Johnson's grieving widow, Trump's still essentially calling her a liar (more here) and, somehow, he's really gotten a bad rap in the press.
"It's interesting," he said, "you folks have called many people that I spoke to. Everybody has said, unbelievable, good things about me, but you never report that."
Also, he has "one of the great memories of all time." And on a separate note, he's wicked smart even though you would never know it by talking to him.
I think the press makes me more uncivil than I am. People don't understand—I went to an Ivy league school. I was a nice student, I did very well, I'm a very intelligent person. I really believe—I think the press creates a different image of Donald Trump than the real person.
Speaking of civility and the press corps’ unfair coverage, was it civil to attack a Gold Star family?
Well, I think it's always okay when somebody says something about you that's false, I think it's always okay to counter-punch or to fight back.
Confirmed, in case there was any doubt.
Trump also weighed in on the Obama-era uranium sale to Russia that his House Republicans are opening an investigation into to distract from the Trump/Russia probe: "I actually think that's Watergate, modern age."
UPDATE: Of course, lede from Politico:
Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and “fake,” and that his White House is caricatured as adrift.