President Donald Trump appears to believe he’s owning reporter Lesley Stahl by uploading their full conversation to his Facebook page, but according to MSNBC host Chuck Todd, it only makes the president look weak.
Speaking to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, Todd said that it was obvious Trump was looking for a new way to pivot and jump-start his failing campaign. It isn’t working, however.
“Some sort of empathetic moment, whatever it is,” said Todd. “But he looks like — he looks a bit unstable and a bit flailing. What’s the latest?”
Throughout the interview, Trump appears to be angry about Stahl for not telling him there would be “tough questions.” He alleged that the “tough questions” weren’t cleared ahead of time.
“But last time [I interviewed you], I remember you saying to me, ‘Bring it on,’” Stahl replied.
Trump said he wasn’t looking for that this time around.
At one point in the interview, Trump also takes a small glass of water and struggles to hold it again, a problem he’s had in the past but he made a joke out of during a rally, drinking water from a water bottle with one hand.
Trump also walked out of the interview once Stahl began asking questions about the “lock her up” chants at the Trump rallies. He denied wanting to “lock up” anyone.
“Part of this, Chuck, it seems, based on the president’s actions and the actions of his White House is to build up an opponent who is not Joe Biden,” said Costa. “And that opponent is members of the media. And you saw that today, notably, over the last couple of days with this discussion drawn out about the ’60 Minutes’ interview, the president leaving it and it getting posted on the president’s Facebook page. The shot of just him answering Lesley Stahl’s questions there. The Trump campaign and the president himself, he has done this for years, Chuck. You know this. His work is to essentially tell his supporters and sell this argument to his supporters that he is being treated unfairly by members of the media.”
Costa noted it’s something Trump’s followers eat up and it might be an issue he can use to help encourage his base.
Todd wondered what would happen with the last debate when nearly 50 million people have already voted.
“I’m fixated on this with the president and his just amazing instability,” said Todd. “We’re sort of — we had four years of this, but when you really look at him particularly since he — since he contracted the virus, the flailing. This business with ’60 Minutes’ is yet another, you know, unstable moment. Flailing at Christopher Wray because he’s trying to recreate 2016. He wants a letter or something. I guess that’s what he’s trying to do here. He knows he’s behind and just trying to find, what worked in October of ’16. Let’s try it again. The FBI bailed me out. Maybe they’ll do it again. But this is not a confident incumbent, that’s for sure.”
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