Welcome to POTUS Said What?!, a weekly roundup of Trump’s most asinine and ineloquent sound bytes and our effort to understand WTF he’s even talking about.
This week, Trump is sad that he can’t take over the Department of Justice, is getting under Republican leadership’s skin with his latest tax cut plan branding suggestion, and is excited to mansplain East Asian history to the people of...East Asia.
WTF? President Trump had this and many more words to say about the federal justice system after the terrorist attack in New York City that left eight people dead. He suggested at a press conference that there should be “quicker” and “greater” ways to seek justice on these “these animals” than what they get now. Of course, Trump’s distaste for the Justice Department should be taken with a grain of salt given that the man has the FBI investigating his campaign’s potential ties to a foreign government. I’m no Nancy Drew, but that seems a little fishy.
In addition to insulting the DOJ for not doing what he wants, Trump tweeted about sending the suspected terrorist to Guantanamo Bay and seeking the death penalty. (And in typical Trump fashion, he walked back his Guantanamo Bay remark days later.)
WTF? Republicans in the House of Representatives just unveiled their big tax plan. Aside from the issues with the bill (and oh, there are many, many problems), the cherry on top of the hot mess sundae that is the GOP trying to pass this legislation is that the bill doesn’t have a catchy name they can hock to Americans when they’re trying to screw them over in favor of rich corporations. Damnit!
Of course, Trump isn’t too concerned what’s actually in the bill. The dude cares about spin though, and that involves naming it. His reported suggestion? The Cut Cut Cut Act. Yes, really.
WTF? Donald Trump is about to set off on his first big trip to Asia as president, and thank goodness the people of Asia have The Donald to tell them that the regime in North Korea is an issue. It must come as a absolute shock to folks in China and Japan, who totally haven’t gone through centuries (nay, millennia) of infighting, war, colonization, and exploitation between groups in the region. But okay, Trump. Do you.
WTF? Ugh, conflicts of interest are the darndest thing. This week, Trump suddenly became really, really interested in locking up former presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, who’s already been cleared by the FBI — twice — in the wake of her private email server scandal.
Of course, the reason why Trump once again wants a first class ticket on the “lock her up” train isn’t surprising: News broke on Monday that three members of his former campaign, including his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, were arrested by Robert Mueller’s special counsel under a variety of charges, from money laundering to lying to federal investigators. Ah, there’s nothing like the people at all levels of your campaign being unlawful as hell to make you want to imprison political adversaries.
WTF? Delusion is a hell of a drug, as witnessed by Trump talking nonstop about how great he thinks he is during an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. Sure, personal Trump hero Abraham Lincoln was leading the Union into the Civil War to end slavery when he took office; Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed 76 bills in his first 100 days to bring the country out of the most devastating economic depression it’s ever seen; and Harry Truman was dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities and working with the Allies to bring World War II to an end during his initial tenure as president.
But attacking everyone from leaders of your own party to professional football players on a social media platform, rolling back protections that affect millions of American lives, and not passing any major legislation is all stuff too, I guess.
Lily Herman is a contributing editor at Refinery29. Follow her on Twitter. The views expressed are her own.