President Donald Trump just held a presser with 300 members of the Central Intelligence Agency, and it was a shocking glimpse into the kind of administration we’re going to see from him. Showing us all once again how he’s an insecure narcissist, he made a point of bragging about how large the crowds at his inauguration were, boasted about how many times he’s been on the cover of TIME Magazine, complained about how the media was lying to make him look bad, and then promptly declared “I love honesty” and that he was “like, a smart person.”
Trump at CIA says during the inauguration, the mall was "packed" backed to Washington Monument. Wrong. #TheTruthShallSetYeFree
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 21, 2017
His remarks were met with loud cheers and clapping – except they weren’t from the CIA members. Once again, he brought a squad of cheerleaders with him to massage his ego and to create the false impression of his popularity.
The entire performance stinks of authoritarianism. The use of fake crowds and paid supporters is a hallmark of insecure leaders needing validation of their own prestige and power. What’s most disturbing, however, was the content of the speech. Not only did he declare war on the media, he said that God himself looked down and prevented rain from falling on him and then off-handedly said we might invade Iraq again to seize their oil.
Welcome to the new normal – but we must not normalize this. We have just inaugurated a delusional egomaniac and would-be dictator who is so insecure that he needs his own cheerleaders but still is so obsessed with himself he publicly stated that God intervened on his behalf (ironically, his pet Christian extremist also said that the rain was a sign from God) before launching into a pep rally for his pick to head the CIA, Christian extremist and pro-torture advocate Mike Pompeo. He finished by casually proposing yet another international war and with a pathetic attempt to regain the approval of the intelligence community, which he recently decried as “Nazis,” by saying that he “loves them.” In desperate need of validation, Trump will say whatever he thinks will get people to like him, no matter what he’s said before – and that bodes very poorly for the future of American international relations.
This press conference was surreal beyond belief. A shameful mockery of the office of the Presidency and of the men and women who work at the CIA. Trump stood in front of them and told them to disbelieve tweets that they had read with their own eyes, slandering the media as the leader of a country which has free speech and free press as the first item on a bill of rights. This is an absolute disgrace and there are really no words to truly encapsulate what an utter dumpsterfire his presidency has become on the first day.
Honestly, what kind of leader sets up inauguration crowd pictures in the press briefing room?
WH has set up crowd size pics in briefing room pic.twitter.com/gIDIuhdcdD
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 21, 2017
Watch the speech here:
President Trump stands in front of memorial to fallen CIA officers, makes false claims about inauguration crowd size https://t.co/LhdmlRXrsw
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 21, 2017
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.