Basic follow-up questions.
And Trump wasn’t ready to respond.
Take their exchange about coronavirus testing. Trump uttered a version of his now-familiar refrain about how testing is overrated — attributing this nonsense to unnamed “those that say.” Swan pressed for details.
Trump: “You know, there are those that say you can test too much, you do know that.”
Swan: “Who says that?”
Trump: “Oh, just read the manuals. Read the books.”
Swan: “Manuals? What manuals?”
Trump: “Read the books. Read the books.”
Swan: “What books?”
Trump moved on without offering a direct answer. While Swan couldn’t get the President to concede that he is making up these “manuals” and “books,” he exposed him nonetheless.
Trump: “Right now, I think it’s under control. I’ll tell you what –“
Swan: “How? 1,000 Americans are dying a day.”
Trump: “They are dying. That’s true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it.”
Again, Trump didn’t explicitly surrender. But Swan’s basic follow-up — a “how?” and a single key statistic — forced Trump into a de facto surrender (“It’s under control as much as you can control it”) and another revealing remark, “It is what it is.”
Other false claims
Trump made at least 17 additional false claims in the 35-minute interview. (We’re still reviewing the transcript, so the final total might be higher.)
Black Americans: Trump claimed that he has done “more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, whether you like it or not.” When Swan asked him specifically if he thinks he did “more than Lyndon Johnson, who passed the Civil Rights Act,” Trump said yes. (We give Trump wide latitude to express opinions, but this one is ridiculous. Lincoln, who emancipated the slaves and won the Civil War, is a certain exception, not a possible exception; Johnson’s monumental Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act clearly dwarfed the impact of any of Trump’s policies.)
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