Five Absurd Moments from Trump’s Interview with The Economist
Recently Trump gave an interview to the respected outlet The Economist. Unsurprisingly the main topic discussed in the interview was the economy followed by immigration. The Economist is famous for its classical liberal pro-immigration outlook which contrasts with most of Trump’s “policy” positions. Predictably it’s filled with design, vague answers and many absurd moments ranging from being asked the same question three times, a side-track onto musings about the length of Chinese history and a discussion on the merits of the phrase “priming the pump”. I have collected the most absurd of these moments in this article.
1. Trump doesn’t know what he wants to change when renegotiating NAFTA(Asked 3 times)
Interviewer: It sounds like you’re imagining a pretty big renegotiation of NAFTA. What would a fair NAFTA look like?
Trump: Big isn’t a good enough word. Massive.
Trump: It’s got to be. It’s got to be.
A reminder of the kind of equipment rhetoric we will be receiving for at least the next 4 years but probably much longer, let’s give Trump the benefit of doubt maybe he doesn’t understand what “Imagining” means. After all, that’s a long word for someone with such tiny hands. Let’s dumb the question down for him
Interviewer: What would a fair NAFTA look like?
Trump:I was all set to terminate, you know? And this wasn’t like… this wasn’t a game I was playing. I’m not playing… you know, I wasn’t playing chess or poker or anything else. This was, I was, I’d never even thought about… it’s always the best when you really feel this way. But I was… I had no thought of anything else, and these two guys will tell you, I had no thought of anything else but termination. But because of my relationship with both of them, I said, I would like to give that a try too, that’s fine. I mean, out of respect for them. It would’ve been very disrespectful to Mexico and Canada had I said, “I will not.
Yet more incoherent ranting about how much he loves those other countries and that all of his slightly less than shit decisions are only because of his respect for them still hasn’t answered the question or talked abut anything close. Let’s remind him that he’s president to get him to listen and then ask him the question.
Interviewer: But Mr President, what has to change for you not to withdraw?
Trump: We have to be able to make fair deals. Right now the United States has a 70—almost a $70bn trade deficit with Mexico. And it has about a $15bn dollar trade deficit with Canada. The timber coming in from Canada, they’ve been negotiating for 35 years. And it’s been… it’s been terrible for the United States. You know, it’s just, it’s just been terrible. They’ve never been able to make it.
More vague talking points with little meaning but hey it’s better than nothing. Congratulation on failing the most basic step in politics, making a meaningless answer sound meaningful.
2. Trump doesn’t remember basic high-school history
Interviewer: Some people think this is a negotiating tactic—that you say very dramatic things but actually you would settle for some very small changes. Is that right?
Trump:No, it’s not, really not a negotiation. It’s really not. No, will I settle for less than I go in with? Yes, I mean who wouldn’t? Nobody, you know, I always use the word flexibility, I have flexibility. [Goes off the record.] [Our] relationship with China is long. Of course by China standards, it’s very short [laughter], you know when I’m with [Xi Jinping], because he’s great, when I’m with him, he’s a great guy. He was telling me, you know they go back 8,000 years, we have 1776 is like modern history. They consider 1776 like yesterday and they, you know, go back a long time. They talk about the different wars, it was very interesting. We got along great. So I told them, I said, “We have a problem and we’re going to solve that problem.” But he wants to help us solve that problem.
More stream of Consciousness drivel about how great trump is and how he’s flexible(A lying hypocrite). He also seems to completely swap positions on China over a few meeting with a single leader and is unaware of the high-school history fact that China has a long history.
3. Trump brags about his bad scheduling
Trump: Now then you never know what’s going to happen. But they said to me that on the currency manipulation, “Donald Trump has failed to call China a currency manipulator”. Now I have to understand something. I’m dealing with a man, I think I like him a lot. I think he likes me a lot. We were supposed to meet for ten minutes and they go to 40-person meetings, OK, in Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach. And the ten minutes turned out to be three hours, alone, the two of us. The next day it was supposed to be ten minutes and then we go to our 40-person meeting. That, too, he was, no…because you guys were waiting for a long time. That ten minute meeting turned out to be three hours. Dinner turned out to be three hours. I mean, he’s a great guy.
In most organisations turning a simple 10 minutes meeting into a 3-hour discussion and a dinner is considered a hallmark of bad planning. Maybe trump should have been preparing for the 40-hour meeting instead of doing vague meetings and coming with MUN level solutions to geopolitical problems
Now, with that in mind, he’s representing China and he wants what’s best for China. But so far, you know, he’s been, he’s been very good. But, so they talk about why haven’t you called him a currency manipulator? Now think of this. I say, “Jinping. Please help us, let’s make a deal. Help us with North Korea, and by the way we’re announcing tomorrow that you’re a currency manipulator, OK?” They never say that, you know the fake media, they never put them together, they always say, he didn’t call him a currency [manipulator], number one. Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped.
4.Claims to be the reincarnation of Herbert Hoover and to have invented the phrase “Primping the Pump”
Interviewer: Priming the pump?
Trump: Yeah, have you heard it?
Trump: Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just…I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.
Trump claims to have invented a term that was created back in the 1930’s by a president of a similar calibre Herbert Hoover who also donated his salary to charity and wasted money on prestige projects while the country collapsed into economic depression. Courtesy of Investopedia here a brief description of the term
The phrase originated with President Hoover’s creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 1932, which was designed to make loans to banks and industry. This was taken one step further by 1933, when President Roosevelt felt that pump-priming would be the only way for the economy to recover from the Great Depression. Through the RFC and other public works organizations, billions of dollars were spent priming the pump to encourage economic growth.
5. Stages Mike Pence’s entrance like some kind of tv show
Interviewer:They came through? So do you still have to keep them in line.
Trump:I’ll be honest with you…Did anybody ever hear of a guy named Mike Pence? Vice-president of the United States?
Mike Pence, the vice-president, enters the room: Morning all.
This is perhaps the strangest part, Trump had Mike Pence the fricking vice president of the united states and probably an extremely busy person wait outside a room until a cure for his entry to impress an interviewer like some kind of tv show. Truly an administration which has got it’s priorities in order