A recent softball interview with Donald Trump is leading some to question whether the president is up to the task of his job. And Vox says that in a friendly interview where Trump was allowed to free-associate, he does himself more harm than if he was pressed and forced to stay on task.
In an an analysis if his interview with the Daily Caller, Vox called Trump “out to sea” in his rants about his own popularity and becoming the victim of rampant voter fraud.
Vox journalist Matthew Yglesias suggests that the Trump curtain slips a bit when talking about Matthew Whitaker in relation to the Mueller investigation. Trump was asked: “Could you tell us where your thinking is currently on the attorney general position? I know you’re happy with Matthew Whitaker, do you have any names?”
No part of the question was about Robert Mueller and the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, but that’s obviously what’s on his mind when he leads with the Mueller matter being an “illegal investigation.”
“Matthew Whitaker is a very respected man. He’s — and he’s, very importantly, he’s respected within DOJ. I heard he got a very good decision, I haven’t seen it. Kellyanne, did I hear that?”
Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head https://t.co/8RRm7uZl8u
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 15, 2018
Conway responds that he got 20 pages on the matter, and Trump adds that he had good things about the report that supposedly said good things about the new temporary head of the DOJ.
But in the transcript of the interview, Trump quickly transitions back to Mueller, telling the interviewer that the former head of the FBI was not senate-confirmed to head up his current investigation as special prosecutor. These matters are not unrelated because one of the primary criticisms of Whitaker is that he is not senate-confirmed, and doesn’t have to be as long as he in just the interim head of the DOJ.
The next transition in the interview was about CNN‘s Jim Acosta and his recent ouster from the White House, and that led to more talk about media in general.
“So, I think he’s very disrespectful to the media, I think he’s very disrespectful to the office, and I think he’s bad for the public. You know, when I say that the fake news is the enemy of the people, it really is. A lot of the animosity that we have in our country is because of fake news. They’re so angry at the news. They get it. You guys are at my rallies all the time, you see the anger when I mention the words ‘fake news’ and they turn around. And they use CNN because they — it just sort of works for them, I guess.”
Trump continues saying that even worse than CNN is ABC, and worse than ABC is NBC.
In an effort to get the interview back on track, the writer for the Daily Caller attempts to steer the conversation back to policy. Trump was asked about the upcoming Republican agenda, immigration, and criminal justice reform, and Vox states that Trump avoided answering because he couldn’t. To each of the questions, Trump responded either that he was looking at it, people are saying great things about it, or he has an upcoming meeting.
“The answer is I’m looking at it very closely, okay? I am. It’s a good thing. You know, Texas is backing it, if you look at Mississippi and Georgia and a lot of other places, they believe in it, those governors, and they’re conservative people. Rick Perry’s a big fan.”
The rest of the interview provided little substance, and devolved into talk of “crooked Hillary,” which according to Vox, is a go-to to deflect from the fact that Trump is in over his head.