Photo: Carolyn Kaster (AP)

Last night, President Donald Trump gave the first Oval Office address of his presidency, breaking into airwaves on several major TV networks to do his whole thing where he lies and is racist for a while. The networks let him do it, of course, because they are gutless cowards enslaved to the ratings that Trump brings, but the whole affair was utterly worthless.

You know who agrees with me there? Trump himself, according to at least one account of Trump’s off-the-record lunch meeting with television anchors yesterday. Huh.

Per the New York Times’ reporting yesterday:

Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.

Advertisement

The speech itself was short—only nine minutes total—and at this point, we all know that filling airtime is not something Trump struggles with if he wants to talk. It also sounds like the president is extremely unenthused by the prospect of taking a trip to the southern border to see his manufactured crisis personally.

Per the Times story:

“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Mr. Trump said of the border visit, according to one of the people, who was in the room. The trip was merely a photo opportunity, he said. “But,” he added, gesturing at his communications aides Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, “these people behind you say it’s worth it.”

Advertisement

None of this, of course, gets us any closer to ending the government shutdown that has massively disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and people who rely on their services. But hey, at least it’s good to know exactly who Trump is going to blame if all of this useless bullshit backfires.