Adam gave us all a brief take on Trump’s latest interview overnight, but seriously: The NYTimes’ selected excerpts are legitimately scary. Remember, this was *not* an ambush, the old man was *not* under pressure — he’s been on (official) vacation, he’s relaxed, he invited a couple of his favorite knob-polishers to drop in for a schmooze… and even with every possible life preserver thrown out, here’s what they got:
The interview started with a discussion of an interview Mr. Schmidt conducted with Mr. Trump in July, when Mr. Trump said he would not have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general had he known that Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
DONALD J. TRUMP: I thought it was a terrible thing he did. [Inaudible.] I thought it was certainly unnecessary, I thought it was a terrible thing. But I think it’s all worked out because frankly there is absolutely no collusion, that’s been proven by every Democrat is saying it.
MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT: You’re O.K. with me recording, right?
TRUMP: Yeah. Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion. And even these committees that have been set up. If you look at what’s going on — and in fact, what it’s done is, it’s really angered the base and made the base stronger. My base is stronger than it’s ever been. Great congressmen, in particular, some of the congressmen have been unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is. So, I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion.
And by the way, I didn’t deal with Russia. I won because I was a better candidate by a lot. I won because I campaigned properly and she didn’t. She campaigned for the popular vote. I campaigned for the Electoral College. And you know, it is a totally different thing, Mike. You know the Electoral College, it’s like a track star. If you’re going to run the 100-yard dash, you work out differently than if you’re going to run the 1,000 meters or the mile…
SCHMIDT: You would have run completely differently.
TRUMP: It would have been a whole different thing. The genius is that the popular vote is a much different form of campaigning. Hillary never understood that.
SCHMIDT: What’s your expectation on Mueller? When do you —
TRUMP: I have no expectation. I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. And you know who knows it better than anybody? The Democrats. They walk around blinking at each other.
SCHMIDT: But when do you think he’ll be done in regards to you —
TRUMP: I don’t know.
SCHMIDT: But does that bother you?
TRUMP: No, it doesn’t bother me because I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. And based on that [inaudible]. There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair. And if he’s fair — because everybody knows the answer already, Michael. I want you to treat me fairly. O.K.?…
He has officially moved beyond “If this was your granpa, you’d be hiding his car keys” to “The FTNYTimes *wants* you to know that if this were your granpa, you’d hide his car keys “.
And the entire Republican Party is A-OK with that! As long as he’s capable of holding a pen, and using it to sign whatever they stick under his nose while the cameras are rolling.
Yeah, I’m old enough to remember the same GOP behavior during Reagan’s second term, too also.