Did Trump know what he was talking about?

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

Plus, Hillary Clinton's seances:  Did Trump know what he was talking about when he spoke with Woodward?

Everything is possible! In yesterday's report, we posted the transcript of Woodward's first blockbuster excerpt—an excerpt from a phone conversation on February 7. 

Trump said several things that day. Did he know what he was talking about? Also, is it possible that the commander was speaking in good faith?

Liberals were asked to get excited about Woodward's shocking excerpt. Just for the record, Woodward has constantly played it this way, with his books dating back to the time when he pretended that Hillary Clinton, then first lady, had been conducting seances with Eleanor Roosevelt—all so the great former journalist could sell a few million more books.

Concerning the February 7 excerpt, you can actually hear the tape of (one small part of) what Donald Trump said. 

Somewhat hazily, Trump told Woodward that the new virus "goes through the air." He said "that's always tougher than the touch." 

Beyond that, he seemed to say that the virus would kill five percent of people who became infected, as compared to a death rate of one percent with people who contract the flu. 

Did he know what he was talking about?  Was he speaking in good faith? Did his statistical claims make sense? 

We can't answer those questions. Meanwhile, were his numbers in any way accurate? As far as we know, they were not.

Was the commander repeating things he'd actually been told? We don't know that either. Could it be that he really believed the pandemic was going to fizzle—Xi "is going to have it in good shape," he told Woodward in that same excerpt—and he was creating a future tale in which he'd be cast as the hero after the virus withered away in April?

Everything is possible! Also, given the craziness of the commander, none of this can necessarily be known.

Regarding "through the air" versus "the touch," the notion that the virus was transmitted that way was already being reported in major newspapers. 

Did Trump mean "airborne" as opposed to "droplets?" We have no idea. There is, of course, a very good chance that he too had no idea.

Trump is an inveterate hustler. With respect to his endless books, Woodward has been similarly accused. The early excerpts from this book have allowed us to tell the story we like—We now know that he knew all along!—in the most simplistic way possible

The second of last week's blockbuster excerpts came from a telephone call on March 19. By now, Trump had panicked. He  had flipped from his earlier rosy public stance. 

By now, he had declared a national emergency and was talking about the need to take measures to avoid several million possible deaths.

By now, the commander in chief was in panic mode. Here's what he told Woodward that day in the excerpt we've been shown:

TRUMP (3/19/20): Now it's turning out, it's not just old people, Bob. But just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It's not just old, older—

WOODWARD: Yes, exactly. 

TRUMP: Young people, too. Plenty of young people. We're looking at what's going on—

WOODWARD: So, give me a moment of talking to somebody, going through this with Fauci or somebody who kind of—it caused a pivot in your mind. Because it's clear just from what's on the public record that you went through a pivot on this, to "Oh my God, the gravity is almost inexplicable and unexplainable!"

TRUMP: Well, I think Bob really, to be honest with you—

WOODWARD: Sure, I want you to be.

TRUMP: I wanted to— I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down—

WOODWARD: Yes.

TRUMP: —because I don't want to create a panic.

We'd like to hear what was said after that. But in public, Trump was now in full panic mode, a stance he would soon abandon.

("It's clear that you went through a pivot on this," Woodward said. "Oh my god, the gravity!")

Whatever Woodward's intentions may have been, his early excerpts allowed us to tell The Story We Like in the most simplistic way possible. Trump knew it was horrible all along, but he kept playing it down!

As of March 19, Trump was actually talking disaster. Before too long, he flipped all the way back. Let's crowd into all our churches to celebrate Easter Sunday!

Meanwhile, and just for the record, Hillary Clinton didn't conduct any seances during her years as first lady. On the brighter side, Woodward's amusing promotional claim helped sell a large shitload of books.

Everyone enjoyed the tale. As is the norm within the guild, everyone played along!

31 comments:

  1. I don't see any exaggeration or bending of the truth on Woodward's part. He quotes Trump and he has taped interviews to back up his quotes.

    "TRUMP: I wanted to— I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down—

    WOODWARD: Yes.

    TRUMP: —because I don't want to create a panic."

    These are quotes and what Trump says is very clear and consistent with what he actually did.

    I don't understand what Somerby is saying in these essays. Is he claiming that because Woodward misinterpreted a Clinton remark that such a clear quote may be untrue? If so, that is leaning over backward to exonerate Trump and Trump doesn't deserve such gymnastics.

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    2. Somerby is trying to mudddy the waters to give plausible deniability to Republicans, a known Republican tactic.

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  2. "We can't answer those questions."

    That's because your questions are stupid, dear Bob. When politicians talk to journos, whether they're "speaking in good faith", it doesn't even enter the equation.

    And of course they know what they're talking about: they are talking about themselves, presenting themselves in the most positive light.

    "Trump knew it was horrible all along, but he kept playing it down!"

    It's not so aaahhh!!! horrible!!!, dear Bob, that all humyns must pull on hazmat suits and hide in their basements forever. Far from it.

    But, if you and your brain-dead liberal comrades believe this is the right thing to do, then please do it, by all means. There's no problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...nevertheless, dear Bob, sending infected people to nursing homes was a very, very bad idea. Criminal, perhaps. We sure hope Andrew Mario's Son Cuomo will answer for it.

      Delete
    2. Какое ты занудное дерьмо.

      Delete
    3. Herman Cain is still tweeting about how Covid is not so bad. Does that make him part of the zombie death cult?

      Delete
    4. If you're talking about the parody account "Herman Cain's Ghost", it is a hilarious!

      Delete
    5. Oh well. In my humble opinion, it merely confirms that liberals are a zombie death cult. As if we needed another confirmation.

      Delete
    6. Mao,
      If you eat more prunes, your humble opinions come out smoother.

      Delete
    7. Why, thank you for reading, dear dembot, and for taking time from your busy dembot schedule to share your personal experiences.

      Delete
    8. "If you're talking about the parody account "Herman Cain's Ghost", it is a hilarious!"

      It is so funny that Cain is dead, ha ha ha ha. It is funny that so many, many more innocent people than Cain are also dead, ha ha ha ha. Cecelia has the absolute BEST sense of humor!

      Delete
    9. you people better get with the program, here, we're going for "herd mentality" whether you like it or not. So tell grandma and grandpa they're not needed any longer. Herman Cain is a martyr to the cause of keeping the Orange shit stain happy. Who can honestly say it wasn't worth it?

      Delete
    10. Anonymouse 9:15 pm, lots of things aren’t funny. More often than not, that’s the case.

      All the better that we have humor.

      Delete
    11. Right-wingers discussing economics, will keep us all in stitches.

      Delete
    12. That joke never gets old, Anonymouse 4:47pm, but it still wouldn’t kill you to get a new one.

      Delete
    13. What was 4:47's joke?

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  5. According to Somerby, we were supposed to take Trump at his word when he condemned white supremacists and neo Nazis.

    Now, when Trump says he knows how bad the virus is and deliberately plays it down, we’re not supposed to take him at his word.

    Seems...inconsistent.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is what Somerby would write if he were an actual media critic:

    https://digbysblog.net/2020/09/james-fallows-sounds-the-alarm-media-please-pay-heed/

    Compare to what Somerby actually writes, to see how Somerby daily helps Trump win reelection by attacking "liberals," spreading conservative memes and defending Trump and his cronies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Compare to what Somerby actually writes, to see how Somerby daily helps Trump win reelection by attacking "liberals," spreading conservative memes and defending Trump and his cronies.”

      Unfortunately, that is an overstatement.

      However, your thinking that he has that sort of influence makes more sense than the usual Anonymouse dribble as to why they’re here bemoaning the blog of a guy they consider to be an obscure and irrational DINO.

      Delete
    2. This.
      You have to want to believe Right-wing bullshit. It doesn't just happen by accident.

      Delete
  7. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hillary-clinton-communes-with-the-spirit-of-eleanor-roosevelt/

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