‘I felt let down’: Comedian John Hodgman explains how NYT failed to press Trump on ‘substance'
John Hodgman (Flickr/Scott Beale/Laughing Squid)

President Donald Trump gave a rambling, wide-ranging interview to the New York Times, where he revealed his anger at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and suggested he might have known about his son arranging a campaign meeting with Russians.


But comedian John Hodgman said he felt a bit cheated that the reporters failed to press Trump on specific policy issues to gain a better understanding of his views.

Hodgman, who writes a weekly advice column in the New York Times Magazine, said Trump drowned out substantive discussion in his own interview with a fusillade of empty words.

"This puts in context all the OMG headlines like 'Trump Says He's Mad at Sessions,'" Hodgman tweeted. "Trump actually says nothing, b/c he says EVERYTHING."

He appreciates that the reporters made "enough human noises to prompt Trump to keep letting words fall out his mouth," but he wanted to learn what the president understood and believed about the Republican health care bill that just stalled in the U.S. Senate.

"The DJT Jr emails speak for themselves. What comment on them can you expect from Trump other than 'MISH MASH EVERY WORD HIGH QUALITY!'?" the comedian tweeted. "We need more [question] asked re the substance of governing, not only b/c it will reveal the limits (or surprising capacity) of DJT's mindhole. BUT ALSO because it's intrinsically important to the every day lives of humans."

Hodgman said he understood why the reporters had to respect the office and be solicitous toward their source, but he felt like they pampered the president.

"There was lots of coddling of the Trump worldview in that exchange, and I get it. Keep him talking. But that line ['you must have been so tired'] got me. HE'S A GROWN MAN," Hodgman said. "He's a grown up and a POTUS and our servant. It's OK to expect substantive clear answers and to press him when he doesn't give them."

"But getting Trump bark madly at Russia fireworks doesn't give me what I deserve as a citizen, and I felt let down by this transcript," Hodgman added.