Trump goes off the deep end
I want to stop writing about Donald Trump, I really do, but every time I sit down and open up the news websites to get a feel for current events he dominates almost all the headlines with each new gaffe being remarkably more newsworthy than the last.
Depending on whether you think the US president is a rambling, paranoid mess right now or that he is, in fact, willing to call out media lies like no other in history will probably inform how you received yesterday’s breath taking news conference called, seemingly, just to have a go at the media.
According to reports POTUS (President of the US) waltzed in to his office yesterday only to decide on a whim to call a press conference to decry his failure to get a hearing at, erm, press conferences and in the media. The circus lasted for 1 hour and 16 minutes and marked a historic low for American contemporary politics.
Trump began by declaring that, contrary to media reports, his administration was not in chaos and was, in fact, a "fine-tuned machine". Those with their finger on the pulse may take issue with that description as it comes just two days after General Michael Flynn resigned as Trump’s national security adviser after weeks of speculation over his links to Russia and the revelations that Flynn not only made promises to the Russian ambassador over US sanctions but potentially broke the law by acting diplomatically on behalf of the US as a private citizen.
Following the absolutely dictionary definition “chaotic” events of just three days ago news has now emerged that Trump’s next pick for the role, Robert Harward, rejected the role. Retired Vice-Admiral Harward was widely tipped for the post after Mr Trump fired Michael Flynn on Monday. A White House official said Mr Harward cited family and financial commitments, but US media said the sticking point was he wanted to bring in his own team.
In further hilariously bad news for the president, his pick for labour secretary, Andrew Puzder, has dropped out after allegations emerged he failed to pay taxes for five years for a former housekeeper who was not authorised to work in the US. One Republican source, quoted by Sky News, said six senators had asked the White House not to go through with Mr Puzder's confirmation hearing because they were unable to vote for him.
In a rambling and often incoherent rant at the media Trump was humiliated by a journalist after claiming, wrongly, that his victory had been “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan”. His claim was later challenged by NBC reporter Peter Alexander, who responded: “Very simply, you said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan, with 304, 306 electoral votes. The fact that President Obama got 365…” Trump interrupted: “Well I’m talking about Republican.” When the reporter pointed out that George HW Bush won 426 Electoral College votes in 1988, Trump responded: “Well, I don't know, I was given that information. I was given that. We had a very big margin.”
In an absolutely baffling admission of recent press stories Trump also said “The leaks are real, but the news is fake because so much of the news is fake."
It’s hard to say, with even a small degree of certainty, which direction the presidency and US politics is likely to take next but I fear we may be talking about President Trump for many months to come.