Bragging, whining, blaming. That’s all he does: The Trump Show
Bragging, whining, blaming. That’s all he does:
At his White House news briefing on the coronavirus on March 19, President Trump offered high praise for the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn. “He’s worked, like, probably as hard or harder than anybody,” Mr. Trump said. Then he corrected himself: “Other than maybe Mike Pence — or me.”
On March 27, Mr. Trump boasted about marshaling federal resources to fight the virus, ignoring his early failures and smearing previous administrations. “Nobody has done anything like we’ve been able to do,” he claimed. “And everything I took over was a mess. It was a broken country in so many ways. In so many ways.”
And on April 13, Mr. Trump insisted that governors were so satisfied with his performance they hadn’t asked for anything on a recent conference call. “There wasn’t even a statement of like, ‘We think you should do this or that,’” he said. “I heard it was, like, just a perfect phone call.”
The self-regard, the credit-taking, the audacious rewriting of recent history to cast himself as the hero of the pandemic rather than the president who was slow to respond: Such have been the defining features of Mr. Trump’s use of the bully pulpit during the coronavirus outbreak.
The New York Times analyzed every word Mr. Trump spoke at his White House briefings and other presidential remarks on the virus — more than 260,000 words — from March 9, when the outbreak began leading to widespread disruptions in daily life, through mid-April. The transcripts show striking patterns and repetitions in the messages he has conveyed, revealing a display of presidential hubris and self-pity unlike anything historians say they have seen before.
By far the most recurring utterances from Mr. Trump in the briefings are self-congratulations, roughly 600 of them, which are often predicated on exaggerations and falsehoods. He does credit others (more than 360 times) for their work, but he also blames others (more than 110 times) for inadequacies in the state and federal response.
Mr. Trump’s attempts to display empathy or appeal to national unity (about 160 instances) amount to only a quarter of the number of times he complimented himself or a top member of his team.
Trump has spoken for more than 28 hours in the 35 briefings held since March 16, eating up 60 percent of the time that officials spoke, according to a Washington Post analysis of annotated transcripts from Factba.se, a data analytics company.How Trump’s ego gets in the way of his coronavirus response .
Over the past three weeks, the tally comes to more than 13 hours of Trump — including two hours spent on attacks and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, but just 4½ minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims. He spent twice as much time promoting an unproven antimalarial drug that was the object of a Food and Drug Administration warning Friday. Trump also said something false or misleading in nearly a quarter of his prepared comments or answers to questions, the analysis shows.
Let’s be clear. He’s always like this. There have been a dozen books published about this. Those of us who follow this freakshow on a daily basis see it with our own eyes. The difference now is that tens of millions of people are at home seeing him now when they are usually busy with their lives and don’t have time. Now this ignorant, pathological liar is on full display and people can see that we aren’t being hysterical when we report it.