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Trump Sunday press briefing: Exposing grudges, insulting reporters, and self-indulgent back-patting

Trump Sunday press briefing: Exposing grudges, insulting reporters, and self-indulgent back-patting

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With all of the misleading ads that the Donald Trump campaign has made accusing former Vice President Joe Biden of being beyond his salad days in terms of mental acuity, listening to Trump ramble extemporaneously in a stream of consciousness reverie about whatever boast or grievance happens to cross his addled mind augers a future of dueling political videos touting their favored candidate as less senile than their opponent.

Whatever your opinion of Biden’s vitality, the former Vice President’s sanity, capabilities, and intelligence are not in question by any but the most partisan Republican Trump advocates (and, to be honest, a few die-hard Bernie Bros.)

After today’s coronavirus press briefing — like most of the other glorified campaign ads that these press conferences have devolved into — one can’t say the same about Donald Trump.

It didn’t help that one of the first things the president spoke about — after announcing that a deal with Democrats to provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program was imminent — was a Wall Street Journal op-ed praising his performance that Trump managed to imbue with juvenile sexual innuendo.

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Trump’s penchant for ignoring his past statements was apparent as he discussed the moving targets of COVID-19 death projections in the United States.

News networks were on high alert when the president announced that he was going to play a video since he had previously used the free airtime to broadcast what amounted to reelection campaign propaganda. This time Trump played a tape of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo praising the efforts of the federal government in helping the state fight the worst outbreak in the United States.

When it didn’t contain all of the positive comments that Trump was expecting to see, he berated an aide for failing to include what he wanted.

Don’t worry though, Trump later interrupted the rest of his briefing to play the part of Cuomo’s positive comments that he wanted to hear.

Trump has done so many of these briefings now that very little new is revealed except the provision of further examples of his habits of sugar-coating the serious lapses in the federal response and attacking his critics.

The only excitement now comes when he opens the floor to questions and spars with reporters while insulting them if he doesn’t like the coverage he receives from the outlet for which they work.

That and the sudden appearance of a stray mosquito which apparently ranks even below dogs as the least favorite living creature in Trump’s estimation.

Providing other reportorial fireworks today was the president’s hostile exchange with a reporter from what he likely considers the mosquito of cable news networks, CNN.

Trump spent time defending the right-wing lunatics protesting state-mandated business shutdowns across the country — a trend that The Washington Post revealed today was being masterminded by “a trio of far-right, pro-gun provocateurs” — before reverting to his impeachment-era paranoid attack mode and denouncing former FBI officials who investigated his and his associates’ misdeeds as “human scum.”

Sparing you the usual repeated lies and self-praise that you’ve heard at every one of these briefings, the only other noteworthy moment at this afternoon’s 45 minute-delayed press conference came in a moment of rare honesty from the president when he admitted when asked why he didn’t include Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) in his Congressional Task Force for Reopening — which includes every other GOP Senator — that it’s simply because he doesn’t like him because he was the lone Republican who voted to impeach him.

That last statement was a disingenuous end to what are now becoming rote exercises in self-promotion, denial, and political attacks.

Trump spoke about people suffering from “cabin fever” from their prolonged seclusions at home. For the president, these briefings are his break from the boredom of monitoring his coverage on cable news and retweeting any social media post that strokes his ego.

His cabin fever must now be so high that he would be barred from entering any establishment able to reopen their doors solely based on his thermometer readings. If only his IQ would reach into the triple digits so easily.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Aaron Rupar at Vox and by Daniel Dale at CNN.

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