In just 15 minutes, Trump said he might shut down the government and invade both Iran and Venezuela, grumbled about witch hunts, praised Kim Jong Un, and said Barron shouldn't play football.
On Sunday, Donald Trump sat down with CBS' Margaret Brennan before the Super Bowl. As with all Trump interviews, it was a whole lot of rambling filled with lies.
He started by saying that he won't take another shutdown off the table, and implied he's already decided to call a national emergency over the wall. "It's national emergency, it's other things and you know there have been plenty national emergencies called," he said.
He also repeated some of his favorite lies — that Speaker Nancy Pelosi "wants open borders" and "doesn't mind human trafficking." He's also sure that somehow, magically, he'll win the fight over the wall now because "we have a much better issue."
If his domestic policy about the wall is a mess, this interview showed his foreign policy is even worse. He tried to explain that he's gotten rid of ISIS, saying, "We will be announcing in the not too distant future 100 percent of the caliphate, which is the area- the land — the area — 100. We're at 99 percent right now, we'll be at 100."
It wasn't at all clear what that means.
Trump also bragged about how, if things went south with his plan, the U.S. would just go right back to the Middle East, because "We have very fast airplanes, we have very good cargo planes. We can come back very quickly, and I'm not leaving."
In his weird, offhand way, he also said that he'll keep troops in Iraq "to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem." When Brennan pointed out that sounded a lot like he was keeping troops in Iraq so he could be able to strike Iran, he explained that he just wanted to "be able to watch."
Trump also wouldn't rule out invading Venezuela, saying he doesn't want to meet with Nicolas Maduro to help negotiate an orderly exit, because many horrible things have been happening and Venezuela "was the wealthiest country of all in that part of the world which is a very important part of the world."
You can always count on Trump to fall back on pointless superlatives when he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Trump deployed plenty more of those when talking about his upcoming summit with North Korea, which Trump declared could be a "tremendous economic behemoth," thanks to the "fantastic chemistry" and "tremendous correspondence" that he has with Kim Jong Un.
He also trotted out his lie about how he has been tougher on Russia than any other president. Sure, if you ignore that we just found out about a secret Trump-Putin meeting and saw Trump pull out of a key nuclear arms treaty, a move that helps fracture NATO unity and allows Putin to build some new missiles.
And it wouldn't be a Trump interview if he didn't complain about a witch hunt, whine about how no one is investigating Hillary Clinton, and gloss over the fact that over 30 people have been indicted in the special counsel's investigation.
Of the 34 people, many of them were bloggers from Moscow or they were people that had nothing to do with me, had nothing to do with what they're talking about or there were people that got caught telling a fib or telling a lie.
Here, Trump neatly overlooks the fact that lying to the FBI and Congress is a crime, not merely getting caught "telling a fib."
Finally, Trump was asked if he'd let his son Barron play football. He said he wouldn't steer him that way because football is a "dangerous sport" and although helmets have gotten better, they haven't "solved the problem" — presumably, the problem of concussions. This is rich coming from the man who mocked an NFL rule that requires players to be removed from the field if they sustain a concussion: "Concussions — 'Uh oh, got a little ding on the head? No, no, you can’t play for the rest of the season.'"
Trump thinks that NFL players who don't continue to play while concussed are wimps, but when it comes to his child, acknowledges the danger inherent in the sport. It's a classic "danger for thee but not for me" mindset that governs his entire presidency, a mindset that was on display this entire interview.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.