An interview of President Donald Trump by The Economist was published today. The transcript reveals a painfully incoherent man who appears incapable of answering a question. His rambling, off-topic responses are typically excuses to demean his opponents or brag about himself.
Among the absurdities in the interview were his claim to have coined the phrase “prime the pump.” As the folks at Merriam-Webster tweeted later, that phrase is about two hundred years old. The interviewer even told him that he knew the phrase. But that didn’t stop the President from asserting that he made it up “a couple of days ago.” Well, not only didn’t he just make it up, he used it himself five months ago.
In that vein of utter nonsense, Trump was also asked about the political path to passing his tax reform plan. Democrats have recently been hinting that they would block any Trump tax bill if he didn’t release his returns. Their argument is that without that data it would be impossible to gauge whether the plan would improperly benefit the President and his family. The Economist sought to discern what negotiating strategies Trump might use to get enough Democratic support for the plan pass in Congress. That led to this exchange:
Economist: If you do need Democratic support for your tax plan, your ideal tax plan, and the price of that the Democrats say is for you to release your tax returns, would you do that?
Trump: I don’t know. That’s a very interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it. Because they’re not going to…nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters. Oh, at some point I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them actually. I did a good job. […] I might release them after I’m out of office.
SRSLY? After he’s out of office would obviously be too late to apply anything that is learned from the data. It would be too late to catch him enriching himself, his family, and his cronies. It would be too late assess whether he had any improper dealings with Russia or other unsavory characters. What’s more, if he hasn’t felt sufficient pressure to release his taxes during his campaign or presidency, what would make anyone think he’d release them after he leaves office?
In addition to that phony offer, Trump also repeated the lie that no one cares about his taxes but reporters. Every poll on the subject shows large majorities of the American people want him to release his returns. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 74 percent in favor of releasing his returns. That includes 49 percent of his own supporters.
The excuse that an alleged audit prevents him from releasing the returns was never credible. Even the IRS refuted that claim as baseless. If Trump were really proud of the good job he did, he would have released his returns long ago. There’s nothing he likes better than a pat on the back and a cookie for good behavior. Clearly there is something he’s hiding that frightens him were it to be revealed.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Between his tax returns and the rapidly unfolding connections to Russia, Trump is mired in a pool of quicksand of his own making. He is sinking fast and his only recourse is total obstruction. However, that’s a strategy that won’t hold up for long. And eventually even his Republican colleagues will start to abandon him in order to save their own necks. When that happens watch for the bottom to fall out fast.