After teasing that he might make an “unannounced trip” down to the White House lawn for an interview with his bosom buddies at Fox & Friends, President Trump did just that on Friday morning, giving a wide-ranging interview where he adamantly praised the North Korean dictator, repeatedly praised Fox News, and bizarrely talked about the “kisses” he definitely got on his birthday. He then stuck around to talk to the broader press corps for another 20 minutes or so.
Asked during the more than 30-minute chat about the recent summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump said multiple times that they “had a good chemistry” and “got along very well.” He also claimed he’s “solved” the problem of a nuclear North Korea.
Then he took it a step further, saying: “He speaks and his people sit up for attention. I want my people to do the same,” perhaps unaware that subjecting your citizenry to forced labor and state-sanctioned murders is a great motivator.
When Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked him about the White House press corps’ tense interactions with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders yesterday about that immigration policy, Trump turned to talk about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where Sanders was a frequent target for jokes.
“That White House Correspondents’ Dinner....” he started, trailing off ominously. “What they did to Sarah...I would’ve walked out.” He also said Sanders’ was “very insulted” by a recent CBS News report that she was preparing to depart the White House by lightly remarking that “at some point, I’m sure she’ll leave.”
Trump, clearly living for this, stuck around for an impromptu and increasingly chaotic press gaggle after the interview that was picked up by all the major news networks, where he clarified he was apparently doing irony when he made that “sit up for attention” comment:
Repeatedly pressed by multiple reporters about his administration’s policy of separating children—some as young as infants—from their undocumented parents at the border, Trump blamed the Democrats yet again.
“I hate the children being taken away, that’s the Democrats’ law,” he said. (It is not a law, but rather his administration’s own policy.) “I want the laws to be beautiful and humane.” He also went on to tell the reporters: “Tell your friends, the Democrats, to call me.”
A few more truly insane highlights:
- The president saying he got “got a lot of good kisses” on his birthday yesterday, to which Doocy asked from whom. “My beautiful wife,” who is also very healthy and not recovering from a facelift, he replied.
- Trump repeated the bogus claim that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are “liberating” communities from the scourge of MS-13.
- He accused the FBI of actively “plotting against my election” in the wake of the release of a report by an internal Justice Department watchdog on Thursday.
- He declared that “I study ratings” after remarking that Fox News’ ratings would be far lower if Hillary Clinton had been elected.
- And finally, he pulled Doocy’s son, Peter, who also works as a reporter for Fox News, in front of the camera to say: “I look at him and know, that’s definitely your son.”
Doocy called out to the reporters gathered to confirm that a sitting president had never done what Trump did before: coming out of the West Wing and doing ad hoc press. Unfortunately, it’s one of the far more benign firsts that Trump is racking up.