Trump has been in a bad head space since taking office, allies say. Today's presser was about changing that https://t.co/91AkzxfNjL
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 17, 2017
As a reminder, Trump still has not had to deal with a crisis not of his own making. https://t.co/TDb72O89Zd
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 17, 2017
The great blogger Billmon used to remind us, when official sources tried to obfuscate the consequences of their own incompetence, that the Emperor in 1945 is supposed to have announced Japan’s unconditional surrender by saying something like “The situation has progressed not necessarily to our kingdom’s best advantage.”
The GOP, and its handmaidens in the management suites at the Grey Lady, are attempting a similar circumlocution. The NYTimes reporters are starting to edge towards the exits, though:
… For days, a frustrated and simmering president fumed inside the West Wing residence about what aides said he saw as his staff’s inadequate defense and the ineffectiveness of his own tweets. Over the objections of some top advisers who wanted to steer him away from confrontation, Mr. Trump demanded to face the media, determined to reject the narrative that his administration is sinking into chaos, scandal and incompetence.
In a rowdy, free-for-all news conference hastily staged in the East Room, Mr. Trump attempted to deflect attention from news coverage about Russian intelligence, the resignation of his national security adviser, the defeat of his labor secretary nominee, and deepening questions about his ability to govern.
“I turn on the T.V., open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos,” Mr. Trump said as he attempted — with little discipline — to read from prepared remarks listing his accomplishments since being inaugurated one month ago. “Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”…
For his supporters, the performance was certain to be energizing. Mr. Trump turned sober questions from journalists into, at times, mesmerizing television. He attempted to reassert his command of “dishonest” journalists at a time when the news media is questioning his capacity to lead. It all made the brooding boss feel better, people close to Mr. Trump said…
Still, it is unlikely that Mr. Trump’s 77-minute performance will divert much long-term attention from questions about his campaign’s relationship with Russia, or reassure wavering Republicans on Capitol Hill that their agenda is on track. Yet Mr. Trump’s close allies said he had met his more immediate goal of soothing himself with a sense of control over his own administration…
Shorter Trump Press Conference: It's not my shit sandwich. Obama left the shit sandwich. I make the best sandwich. You hate me.
— Jacob Weisberg (@jacobwe) February 17, 2017
Trump is a chess master at media manipulation. His latest coup: going on an unhinged, possibly self-incriminating rant on live television
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) February 16, 2017
Even the NotSoLiberal Fox News!
Wow watch Shepard Smith’s reaction to Trump’s “fake news” claims at press conference pic.twitter.com/s0DC9GRul9
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) February 16, 2017
What should we call these pressers?
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 16, 2017