Kenneth Vogel of Politico caught this tidbit from the already deemed disastrous for other reasons Trump Fox Business interview. “Trump remembers details of cake he was eating while launching missiles, but not which country he was attacking,” Vogel wrote over a clip of Trump describing his missile launch on Iraq.
Setting the tone in the way he does when he tells his Big Stories, Trump described the “most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen” he was eating as he was launching the missiles that hit… Iraq.
Trump: "we've just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq…"
Bartiromo: "heading to Syria"
Trump: "yes…to Syria…" pic.twitter.com/TYfqXXDeCZ
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) April 12, 2017
Trump said, “We’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq–”
Bartiromo interrupted to correct him, “– heading to Syria–”
Trump acknowledged with no recognition that it might be wise to speak carefully when relishing your missile strike over cake, “Yes, to Syria.”
Which country? No biggie. The country doesn’t matter. What matters here is that Trump is a powerful hero with missiles at his fingertips.
Trump attacked the Gold Star family and it turned out he didn’t know what a Gold Star family was. This is the same president who referred to a fictional “incident” in Sweden the night before, saw imaginary thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey, and believes with no evidence that millions of “illegals” voted, thus costing him the popular vote.
This is the same interview during which Trump proves again that he just can’t quit President Obama, saying, “What I did should have been done by the Obama administration long before I did it…I think Syria would be a lot better off right now.”
The thing is, Obama was waiting for Congressional approval that never came. Trump told Obama NOT to hit Syria at the time. And Obama was wrestling with what he saw as the “Iraq trap”. Obama asked of attacking Syria, “And then what?”
For good reason. Based on an interview with Obama, Jeffery Goldberg of the Atlantic explained, “In Syria, he understood that Assad would most likely survive an American missile strike on his airbases; the day after such strikes ended, Assad, Obama believed, would have emerged from his hiding place, and declared victory: The greatest power in the world tried to destroy him, and failed.… Assad and his allies, understanding that the appetite of average Americans for yet another Middle Eastern war was limited, could have tried to provoke Obama into escalation.”
Whereas Trump thinks the missiles he sent that did nothing are a Great Story. He thinks this is the end of the story or maybe it’s the end of the story about how great he is.
It wouldn’t matter to Trump where he sent the missiles. He didn’t care that Putin was killing journalists or that Assad was attacking his own people, until suddenly Trump needed a New Storyline. Before the New Story, Trump admired brutal dictators.
Trump defenders will say he misspoke, but Trump’s relentless record of dangerously careless rhetoric is the real problem. It’s true, anyone can misspeak. But when they’re the President and they’re describing their decision making process behind launching missiles at another country on TV during a planned interview, there is really no excuse other than the truth.
Accuracy and the truth simply don’t matter to Donald Trump. He’s all about the grandiose story in which he is a Superhero.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.