I was reading through the transcript of Trump’s press conference, and started to feel in my gut that I had been here before.
Then I realized what it was. It was just like reading an old Nixon tape transcript. Look at this from today:
It’s very important to me and especially in this position. It’s very important. I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it’s true and, you know, over a course of time, I’ll make mistakes and you’ll write badly and I’m OK with that. But I’m not OK when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred.
I don’t watch it any more because it’s very good — he’s saying no. It’s OK, Jim (ph). It’s OK, Jim (ph), you’ll have your chance. But I watch others too. You’re not the only one so don’t feel badly. But I think it should be straight. I think it should be — I think it would be frankly more interesting. I know how good everybody’s ratings are right now but I think that actually — I think that’d actually be better.
No, that’s how I won. I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn’t win by people listening to you people. That’s for sure. But I’m having a good time.
Tomorrow, they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.” I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. You know, you’re dishonest people. But — but I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.
But tomorrow, the headlines are going to be, “Donald Trump rants and raves.” I’m not ranting and raving.
For those of us who remember Nixon with a certain distorted nostalgia, it is all there. The resentment, particularly at the press, the belief that he can handle thing that others can not. His claim not to care about it. His insults. His repetition when a point has been made. Above all it is the constant sense of being aggrieved and a victim, and that he is the only straight shooter in the room.
There is only one problem. Nixon was speaking in private. Trump is speaking in public.
I wonder what on earth is he like in private? Oh, actually, we do know. He is focused on privates.