Only 24 hours after he read a serious speech off a teleprompter committing to send more young men and women to fight in Afghanistan, President Donald Trump reverted to form, delivering a rambling, rage-filled, 77-minute harangue that was alternately defensive, angry, accusatory and just plain weird. Like a trapped animal, he lashed out in every direction, trying unsuccessfully to draw blood.
The opening 15 minutes or so were devoted to relitigating — and lying about — his response to the Charlottesville incident. He omitted his words a few days after the death of Heather Heyer in which he claimed that there were “fine people” on both sides and that there was blame on “many sides.” But once again, he dwelled on himself, not on the death of a young woman or the flare-up of anti-Semitic, racist groups. He railed at the media, claiming that they did not cover the crowd (they did, revealing a modest gathering) and that there were not many protesters outside (there were thousands). The sight of the president, eight months into office, still lying about crowd size and whining about the media was stunning but not surprising.
He insisted that he was all about unifying the country, and then launched into a diatribe against his perceived enemies, painting himself as simultaneously the most successful president (repeating the lie that he has signed more legislation than anyone) and the victim of Democrats, the filibuster (which he wrongly blamed his loss on health-care legislation that could not garner even 50 votes) and always, always the “sick” media (whom he accused of not liking…
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