We all know that Donald Trump can be hard to understand sometimes, just in terms of the way he speaks — it’s often been speculated even by those relatively friendly to the president that he’s a stimulant user, and his approach to speaking smacks of the kind of overconfidence that would make even someone not under the influence of any mind-altering chemicals trip over words, mispronounce common things, and make up gibberish on the spot.
But really, the problem when Trump speaks — as a politician — is that he doesn’t want to answer the questions that people ask. He wants to redirect his audience to the things he’d rather be talking about, and his pathway there sometimes can be more than a little clunky. He’s definitely not cut out for contemporaneous commentary.
So when you’re hearing him in real-time, perhaps the effect is muted a little by the fact that, being Trump, we have all learned to tune him out mostly in the moment and then go back to make sure we heard what we thought we heard. But when we DO go back, the transcripts can be baffling, hilarious, or even downright frightening in their striking left turns, self-contradictions, casual insults, and willingness to say literally anything to get where he’s going in the conversation.
His Wednesday radio interview with Fox host Brian Kilmeade, for example, was a perfect snapshot of exactly what I mean.
Kilmeade brought up a poll about mistrust of the police by black Americans and asked Trump what he thought he might do to address it. The “answer” that Trump gave was so blisteringly jumbled and counter to anything that Kilmeade was asking that I have to provide both the audio for you here and the text transcript provided by CNN’s fact-checker, Daniel Dale.
Trump’s was asked how to address the problem of low trust in the police among African Americans. Here’s the transcript of his response. pic.twitter.com/Z5sArhvCJX
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 4, 2020
China, coronavirus, jobs, his own speeches, rockets, social media, Joe Biden wearing a mask, and the 1994 Crime Bill. Honestly almost nothing in his response about black people, police, or trust, and definitely nothing about the three in concert.
You can click on the image in Dale’s tweet for a larger version you can read of the transcript — or you can listen to that tangle of words once more time and see if you can sort it out yourself.
I recommend the former.
Featured image via screen capture
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