Criticizes AG Barr, SecState Pompeo, FBI Chief Ray for not taking action
In a departure from the norm, Around the Block will, except for the headline, add no snarky remarks to today’s story. I will just reprint CNN’s commentary of Trump’s two Fox interviews yesterday, the first with Maria Bartiromo, the second with Sean Hannity. I’ll then leave the (on-the-mark) snakiness to CNN’s Editor-at-Large, Chris Cillizza.
From CNN’s Oliver Darcy:
On Thursday Trump started and ended his day on Fox. And, as if those appeals to his base weren’t enough, he is also holding a “virtual rally” on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show Friday afternoon.
In the morning, the President phoned into Fox Business for a rambling, off-the-rails conversation with journalist-turned-sycophant Maria Bartiromo. At this point she might as well be a spokesperson for the Trump campaign. As Washington Post’s Philip Bump wrote, she has “served as little more than a hype woman, setting Trump up with softball questions and encouraging his responses. It wasn’t the first time she has played such a role, but it was nonetheless remarkable to see the scope of her disinterest in posing any challenge to the president.”
While speaking with Bartiromo, Trump ranted and raved about his political enemies. He implored Attorney General Bill Barr to “indict these people for crimes,” specifically naming Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Hours later, after Trump’s interview with Bartiromo had faded to a degree from memory, Jeffrey Toobin tweeted: “Just so it’s clear. [Trump] today called for [Obama] and [Biden] to be indicted and prosecuted. Have our standards fallen so far that this kind of antidemocratic authoritarian behavior passes without criticism? Is this now normal?”
Trump continued to careen from topic to topic on Sean Hannity’s show, promoting conspiracy theories, peddling falsehoods, and launching attacks on Democrats and the media during a roughly 25 minute conversation.
But it was arguably the President’s health that took center stage. During the interview, Hannity twice asked Trump if he had been tested for the coronavirus since he became ill last week. It was a question that the President apparently couldn’t answer. Trump instead said that he will “probably” be tested on Friday. Medhi Hasan quipped about the non-answer, “Mark the date, we have reached the point where even Sean Hannity is asking Trump simple questions that the president can’t or won’t answer.”
It wasn’t just Trump’s comments on his health that drew attention. It was what the audience could hear at home. At least twice during the interview, Trump had to pause his sentences and audibly clear his throat and cough. The President insisted he was feeling great, claiming he saw his doctors earlier in the day and that they believe him to be in “great shape.” But he sure didn’t sound like he was cured, as he claimed to be.
And now the link to Chris Cillizza’s column entitled, The 48 most unhinged lines from Donald Trump’s Fox Business interview
Final, and most important thought: Vote like your life depends on it. Because it does.