President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address will likely benefit from epically low expectations, according to CNN’s Monday morning panel discussion.
During “New Day,” Republican commentator David Frum of The Atlantic, noted that all Trump must do is clear an extremely low bar.
“Look, if President Trump gets through the hour without putting a fork in somebody’s eye he will be praised as the most presidential president since the most presidential president,” he said.
Substitute co-host Poppy Harlow clarified that if Trump merely sticks to the teleprompter he’d gain critical acclaim.
“Just for not doing something hideous,” Frum agreed. “There is a special Trump scale where he is graded differently from any other president. If he just behaves like a functioning human being for an hour, we think he’s done a great job.”
Historian Tim Naftali noted that the Davos speech speaks to the possibilities from Trump he could be more successful because it was a pro-DREAMer message.
“I don’t have any questions left about Donald Trump,” Frum said about the possibility of Trump’s polling increasing. “He has answered every question I have. And I think we all know who he is. We all know what he is, we all know why he’s president, and what got him into that job. So, I think the question for all of us is how do we protect the country during the remainder of the presidency. There are no serious questions left about what kind of person he is.”
Harlow was shocked Frum had no expectations of Trump, but the former George W. Bush speechwriter said you can train anyone to deliver a speech.
“You can train a seal to sit on the side of the pool for an hour and behave itself,” Frum said. “That doesn’t make it no longer a seal. If Donald Trump can get beyond an hour of good behavior, he has done that before, but that doesn’t tell you what will happen at an hour and five minutes.”
Just weeks ago, Trump bragged about being “like, a really smart person” and called himself a “stable genius.”
Pompeo ridiculed by CNN panel for his ‘phony mock outrage’ response after being outed as a foul-mouthed bully
Responding to a statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued through the State Department accusing an NPR journalist of being "shameless" for going public with an encounter she had with him in his offices where he cursed at her, a CNN panel all but rolled their eyes at his "phony" outrage.
Speaking with host Anderson Cooper, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called out the blustery Pompeo as well as many Republicans who took "umbrage" at Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) mentioning a report that the Donald Trump would have their heads on "on a pike" if they crossed him.
Trump attorney Sekulow’s impeachment defense of president blown out of the water with Lindsey Graham statement
On Saturday, one of the biggest opening arguments made by President Donald Trump's legal team at the impeachment trial was that there was, in fact, a risk that Ukraine had meddled in U.S. elections.
"Mr. Schiff and his colleagues repeatedly told you that the intelligence community assessment that Russia was acting alone, responsible for the election interference, implying this somehow debunked the idea there might be in — you know, interference from other countries, including Ukraine," said Trump counsel Jay Sekulow. "This is basically what we call a straw man argument."
But MSNBC's Brian Williams knocked down this defense with a clip from none other than one of President Donald Trump's biggest allies: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.
This article first appeared in Salon.