ABC News made quite a scoop last night when they scored a lie-filled one-on-one interview with Donald Trump in the White House. Trump was at his best, which means his worst, and the entire interview has to be seen to be believed.
If you – like many of us – can’t stand listening to Trump’s voice as he trolls the world with lies, you can always read the transcript to find gems like our earlier report on Trump’s lies about his wall, or this attack on the interviewer’s network:
The entire transcript can be viewed here. It makes good reading. By good, I mean illuminating. That doesn’t mean it’s not terrifying. And “Read the whole thing before he has it taken down,” warns writer/producer Amy Berg.
The Washington Post‘s Senior Politics Editor Steven Ginsberg says, “The Muir-Trump transcript is a must read,” and it is for any American concerned about a Trump presidency.
Keep in mind, this is a president who, as Trump’s Toronto Star fact checker Daniel Dale put it, believes “people who think plunder is illegal are ‘fools.'” It is statements like this that led Dale to tweet:
Well, this is sure the most bonkers presidential interview transcript I've ever read. https://t.co/0RdvgUwH7v
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 26, 2017
Here is another example:
Quite a Trump paragraph. pic.twitter.com/lp229UPabk
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 26, 2017
At one point, Trump denied that he ever said there were millions of illegal voters. This prompted Muir to read the tweet in which Trump did say exactly that. Trump’s response was to ignore the facts. The response of Trumpists was to decry Muir as “anti-Trump.”
DAVID MUIR: … those people who are on the rolls voted, that there are millions of illegal votes?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I didn’t say there are millions. But I think there could very well be millions of people. That’s right.
DAVID MUIR: You tweeted though …
PRESIDENT TRUMP: And I also say this …
DAVID MUIR: … you tweeted, “If you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally, I won the popular vote.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, and I also say this, if I was going for the popular vote I would’ve won easily. But I would’ve been in California and New York. I wouldn’t have been in Maine. I wouldn’t have been in Iowa. I wouldn’t have been in Nebraska and all of those states that I had to win in order to win this. I would’ve been in New York, I would’ve been in California. I never even went there.
You know, because facts.
CrookedMedia founder Jon Favreau had an even stronger reaction:
This Trump interview with David Muir is fucking nuts.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) January 26, 2017
The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman was equally aghast:
This was the stuff that it took Manafort team months to essentially duct-tape him from saying (violating int'l law) https://t.co/sBEKa8akr2
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 26, 2017
Author and screenwriter JoJo Moyes tweeted, “Transcript of Trump’s interview last night. If I wrote this as fiction, my editor would send it back as unbelievable.”
As noted earlier, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler said, “This interview is so filled with inaccurate and misleading statements by Trump I don’t even know where to begin.” But then we shouldn’t expect anything less.
It is difficult not to see this granting of an interview with ABC News rather than Fox as a trial run of sorts, to see if ABC News would toe the line. In that, we have to suspect they failed, as Muir repeatedly brought Trump face to face with his own words and Trump repeatedly attacked the press and ABC News specifically.
Alternately, the interview may have been designed to make an object lesson of dissenters among the press, to show them exactly the kind of treatment they can expect for not repeating Trump’s lies without question.
One suspects either way that next time, a more congenial and propaganda-friendly Trump apologist, Bill O’Reilly of the new state TV Fox News, will get the nod.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.