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Trump bragged to aides his disastrous Axios interview went well and was ‘great television’: report

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Deep in a Daily Beast report detailing the problems Donald Trump is having getting his floundering re-election campaign untracked, Sam Stein reveals that the president — who increasingly appears detached from reality — told aides that he thinks his much-derided Axios interview with Jonathan Swan was a big success.

The president, who often gauges the success of his TV appearances on ratings as opposed to how he is perceived in them, reportedly said it made for “great TV.”

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According to Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, the president received a free pass from the press before he became president and that he is in a whole other world now that his every move is scrutinized.

“His time in the spotlight in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and again in the ‘00s, spoiled him because he got away with that charade to a certain extent,” explained O’Brien. “The media wasn’t fact-checking him and reality-checking him on a daily basis the way it is now during his presidency. Yet because his bullshit-artistry was baked in decades ago he just keeps approaching everything in his life this way—not just pressers and interviews. Everything.”

With that in mind, Stein wrote, ‘To that point, where viewers, political observers, and many of Trump’s own senior officials watch some of his interviews and see bloodletting, Trump often sees victory,” before adding, “In the immediate aftermath of the Axios interview, the president told several people close to him how well he thought it turned out and what great television it had made, according to two people familiar with his private remarks on the matter.”

According to one White House insider, the president felt he did better than presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would have fared, telling the Beast, “He said it went very well and that Biden could never stand up to that kind of questioning. He absolutely was not mad about it.”

As Stein notes, before pointing out that Trump may have prevailed in 2016 because he was running against a woman, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “But if Trump believes, as O’Brien put it, that he ‘can control any problem through sheer force of will,’ it may say as much about the political ecosystem in which he operates as it does about him. Trump may be unique in how brazen he is about it, but self-confidence and self-promotion are traits in abundance for most politicians. It’s just that he operates in a political system in which male politicians are not questioned for exhibiting those characteristics while female politicians are.”

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You can read more here (subscription required) and watch the interview below to judge for yourself:


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2020 Election

Meet People of Praise: Here’s why this far-right cult shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Supreme Court

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This week, President Donald Trump is scheduled to announce his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court—and one of the possible nominees is 48-year-old Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appellate judge. Trump has made it clear that he plans to nominate someone who is not only fiscally conservative, but a severe social conservative who would have no problem overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973. Barrett fits the bill, especially in light of her reported association with an extremist, predominantly Catholic group called People of Praise.

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in 2018.

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2020 Election

Kayleigh McEnany says Trump ‘very likely’ will nominate new Supreme Court Justice before Ruth Bader Ginsburg is buried

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump will announce his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, mostly likely by Tuesday. The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court. The date of her funeral, which will be a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, has not even been announced yet.

Asked if the nomination would be announced "before Wednesday," she replied, "I think that's very likely."

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Monday morning also hinted the announcement would come Tuesday.

President Trump says he will soon nominate a justice to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

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2020 Election

Trump says he is ‘counting on the federal court system’ to declare winner on election night—before many ballots are tallied

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"This is an open admission that Trump hopes to use the Supreme Court to steal the election."

President Donald Trump said during a campaign rally over the weekend that he is "counting on the federal court system"—which he has packed with right-wing judges—to declare a winner of the presidential election on the night of November 3, a statement that one journalist described as an "outright pledge to use the courts to stop votes from being counted."

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