If there’s any ruling mantra that has governed the life and presidency of Donald J. Trump, it’s the old adage “fake it ’till you make it.” His entire career has been built on false appearances, outrageous fraud, and shameless lies, and his tenure as the world’s most powerful leader has been no different.
The president’s latest attempt at a transparently performative stunt appeared to backfire on Wednesday afternoon when the President began releasing images of yesterday’s interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl in a bizarre attempt to punish the reporter for asking him questions he didn’t want to answer.
The president reportedly threw a fit and walked out 45 minutes into the 60-minute interview and has been seething ever since. Last night, he threatened to release the interview before the show airs in an apparent effort to get back at 60 Minutes for their “fake and biased interview.”
I am pleased to inform you that, for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME! This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2020
It would appear that Trump does not actually have the interview footage to release, so instead, he has simply begun releasing images from the interview.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2020
What this is supposed to accomplish is, as with most things Trump does, unclear.
Also like most things Trump does, his attempt at petty vengeance backfired in a humiliating fashion. The president’s Press Secretary presented the reporter with an enormous book that allegedly contained “some of the many things they’ve done for Healthcare.” Seeing as Trump has done nothing for American healthcare besides try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act multiple times, the nation was curious as to what this tome contained.
But if a close-up of one of the shots that the president released is any indicator, it is entirely blank.
— Dusty (@DustinGiebel) October 21, 2020
This would not be the first time the Trump press team has tried this little stunt.
In 2017, the Trump team presented the nation with a table full of folders in an attempt to convey how much work the president was doing to divest himself from his businesses, which of course were full of blank papers.
The pages are blank. pic.twitter.com/agLqnBTjrg
— Mikey Neumann (@mikeyface) January 12, 2017
It is incredible on just so many levels that not only would the president try this stunt again, but that he would assume nobody would open Ye Olde Codex Of American Vitality to check and see if anything was in it, and then tweet out the picture of the blank page on his own volition!
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.