In his first television interview as President, Donald Trump sat down with ABC’s David Muir and talked for an hour or more in complete gibberish. He said absolutely nothing new. He re-litigated the campaign. He bragged about his crowd sizes at the campaign. He insisted that millions of people voted for Hillary illegally, and even if they didn’t, he would have won the popular vote if he was running for the popular vote. He at one point even said that actual dead people are voting: “If dead people are registered to vote and voting, which they do.”
It was defensive, rambling word salad, and though David Muir is getting some flak this morning for getting run over by Trump during the interview, I don’t think there was much else Muir could have done. Trump talked about what he wanted to talk about, refused to shut up and listen, and repeated himself a dozen times.
Watch that interview, and it’s hard not to come away with the impression that he’s mentally unstable.
Here’s the perfect example. On Saturday, he gave a speech in front of the Memorial Wall of the CIA. He rambled, talked about politics, the size of his inauguration crowd, and awkwardly presumed that everyone in the room voted for him. The speech was not received well. The outgoing CIA director called is a “disgrace.” People in attendance were embarrassed, ashamed. There were, however, 30 or so people — Trump plants who were guests of Trump, Pence, and Mike Pompeo — who clapped and cheered, which in and of itself was probably inappropriate for the setting. Every news account from the day suggested that the rank and file were unimpressed with the speech. Senior staff looked on with their arms crossed, etc., etc.
Here’s how Donald Trump described the reception to that speech during his interview with Muir last night:
So, I went to the CIA, my first step. I have great respect for the people in intelligence and CIA. I’m — I don’t have a lot of respect for, in particular one of the leaders. But that’s okay. But I have a lot of respect for the people in the CIA.
That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I’ll mention you — we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming and — and they were all CIA. There was — somebody was asking Sean — “Well, were they Trump people that were put—” we don’t have Trump people. They were CIA people.
That location was given to me. Mike Pence went up before me, paid great homage to the wall. I then went up, paid great homage to the wall. I then spoke to the crowd. I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time. What you do is take — take out your tape — you probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it. I could’ve …
PRESIDENT TRUMP: … gotten …
DAVID MUIR: You would give the same speech if you went back …
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Absolutely.
DAVID MUIR: … in front of that wall?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: People loved it. They loved it. They gave me a standing ovation for a long period of time. They never even sat down, most of them, during the speech. There was love in the room. You and other networks covered it very inaccurately. I hate to say this to you and you probably won’t put it on but turn on Fox and see how it was covered. And see how people respond to that speech.
That speech was a good speech. And you and a couple of other networks tried to downplay that speech. And it was very, very unfortunate that you did. The people of the CIA loved the speech. If I was going to take a vote in that room, there were, like, 300, 350 people, over 1,000 wanted to be there but they couldn’t. They were all CIA people. I would say I would’ve gotten 350 to nothing in that room. That’s what the vote would’ve been. That speech was a big hit, a big success — success.
A standing ovation? Equal to the one that Peyton Manning got after winning the Super Bowl.
This is the crazy we’re dealing with, folks. He is fucking nuts.