Yesterday, one day after their inauguration, Vice-Pr*s*d*nt Pence and Pr*s*d*nt Trump addressed the CIA at their headquarters in Langley, perhaps to assure them that the new administration was on board with them. (Trump had been critical of our intelligence agencies during the campaign.)
Politico has posted the full text of both men’s remarks to the CIA, and you should read it if a.) you need confirmation of how clueless Trump is (Pence’s words were pretty tame) or b.) you want a good laugh. I’d use the word “insane,” but that’s considered ableist.
For what we see here is nothing more than a “Trump mind dump.” It’s as if he hadn’t prepared anything, was slightly stoned, and just decided to talk as if he were on a reality show. Not only that, but once again he decided to go after the press. His target was Time Magazine, which had apparently criticized him for removing a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office. Trump says that was untrue, but why the hell did he even bring it up (as well as his general dislike of the media) at a CIA briefing?
I’ll give just two excerpts from The Donald’s remarks. The first refers to Representative Mike Pompeo (a Republican from Kansas), whom Trump has nominated to be head of the CIA. Pompeo, by the way, has told Congress that, if confirmed, he would consider bringing back “enhanced interrogation methods (aka torture), including waterboarding.
Note that the speech is punctuated with laughter, which, given the fact that it wasn’t funny, means that the CIA is full of either Trumpies or toadies.
Here are Trump’s words to the CIA:
But Mike [Pompeo] was literally — I had a group of — what, we had nine different people? Now, I must say, I didn’t mind cancelling eight appointments. That wasn’t the worst thing in the world. But I met him and I said, he is so good. Number one in his class at West Point.
Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years who did a fantastic job in so many different ways, academically — was an academic genius — and then they say, is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart persona. (Laughter.) And I recognized immediately. So he was number one at West Point, and he was also essentially number one at Harvard Law School. And then he decided to go into the military. And he ran for Congress. And everything he’s done has been a homerun. People like him, but much more importantly to me, everybody respects him. And when I told Paul Ryan that I wanted to do this, I would say he may be the only person that was not totally thrilled — right, Mike? Because he said, I don’t want to lose this guy.
But you will be getting a total star. You’re going to be getting a total gem. He’s a gem. (Applause.) You’ll see. You’ll see. And many of you know him anyway. But you’re going to see. And again, we have some great people going in. But this one is something — is going to be very special, because this is one, if I had to name the most important, this would certainly be perhaps — you know, in certain ways, you could say my most important. You do the job like everybody in this room is capable of doing. And the generals are wonderful, and the fighting is wonderful. But if you give them the right direction, boy, does the fighting become easier. And, boy, do we lose so fewer lives, and win so quickly. And that’s what we have to do. We have to start winning again.
If I bolded everything that was unseemly in that statement (“the fighting is wonderful,” etc.), it would all be bolded. But wait–there’s more! This followed the remarks above:
You know, when I was young and when I was — of course, I feel young. I feel like I’m 30, 35, 39. (Laughter.) Somebody said, are you young? I said, I think I’m young. You know, I was stopping — when we were in the final month of that campaign, four stops, five stops, seven stops. Speeches, speeches, in front of 25,000, 30,000 people, 15,000, 19,000 from stop to stop. I feel young.
After that one expects to hear something like, “I’ll be here all week, folks. Be sure to try the roast beef!”
Then he takes on the media. Why on earth did he add stuff like this? Read it carefully, as it’s larded with narcissism.
And the reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. (Laughter and applause.) And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number-one stop is exactly the opposite — exactly. And they understand that, too.
. . . We had another one [a supposed lie by the media] yesterday, which was interesting. In the Oval Office there’s a beautiful statue of Dr. Martin Luther King. And I also happen to like Churchill, Winston Churchill. I think most of us like Churchill. He doesn’t come from our country, but had a lot to do with it. Helped us; real ally. And, as you know, the Churchill statue was taken out — the bust. And as you also probably have read, the Prime Minister is coming over to our country very shortly. And they wanted to know whether or not I’d like it back. I say, absolutely, but in the meantime we have a bust of Churchill.
So a reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on there cover, like, 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time Magazine. Like, if Tom Brady is on the cover, it’s one time, because he won the Super Bowl or something, right? (Laughter.) I’ve been on it for 15 times this year. I don’t think that’s a record, Mike, that can ever be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think?
But I will say that they said — it was very interesting — that Donald Trump took down the bust, the statue, of Dr. Martin Luther King. And it was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it. (Laughter.) So Zeke — Zeke from Time Magazine writes a story about I took down. I would never do that because I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is.
Now, the big story — the retraction was, like, where? Was it a line? Or do they even bother putting it in? So I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting.
Certainly he does, so long as the “honesty” is favorable to himself.
h/t: Matthew Cobb