Donald Trump has spent the first half of his 102nd day as president much as he spent the majority of his first 101 days: spewing crazy bullshit that catches most everyone, even many of his closest advisors, off-guard. But for whatever reason, today he packed days worth of insane rambling into a single half-hour interview with Bloomberg News. Here’s a running tally of what he’s said so far.
He’d Be “Honored” to Meet With North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un
In the interview, Trump said he’d be willing to have a meeting with Kim. “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” he said. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”
“Most political people would never say that,” he added, “but I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news.”
Trump on Kim Jong Un to Bloomberg: “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him I would absolutely. I would be honored to do it"
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) May 1, 2017
The quote comes two days after Trump described Kim to CBS News as a “pretty smart cookie” who was able to take over a country at 27 despite the interference of “some very tough people.”
“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want, but that is not easy — especially at that age,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters that same day. “I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit; I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do.”
Kim, of course, inherited the country from his father and is believed to have killed hundreds of his rivals to maintain power. The United States has no diplomatic relationship with North Korea, which recently conducted a series of tests and ballistic missiles (Bloomberg notes the country could develop a missile capable of striking the west coast of the U.S. with a nuclear warhead by 2020).
When asked about it at today’s press conference, Sean Spicer attempted to defend his boss’s statements.
Why wld Trump be "honored" to meet with Kim Jong Un? "He's still a head of state," says Spicer. "There's still a diplomatic piece of this."
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) May 1, 2017
Trump Doubles Down on White House Invitation to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte
Over the weekend, Trump spoke with Rodrigo Duterte, the notorious president of the Philippines, and invited him to visit the White House. The move triggered outrage from right and left because, again, Duterte is a bloodthirsty madman who has had thousands of people extra-judiciously killed in his homeland over unproven allegations of drug use or drug dealing. Of course, that sort of strongman approach is appealing to Trump.
“He’s been very very tough on that drug problem, but he has a massive drug problem,” he said in an April 29 interview. Today, he explained why he made the call.
“The Philippines is very important to me strategically and militarily,” Trump told Bloomberg earlier today. “I look forward to meeting him. If he comes to the White House that’s fine.”
“You know he’s very popular in the Philippines,” he added. “He has a very high approval rating in the Philippines.”
Trumpcare Will Be as Good for People With Pre-Existing Conditions as Obamacare
“I want it to be good for sick people. It’s not in its final form right now,” Trump said today. “It will be every bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare.”
That would be great. But of course, that’s most likely a lie. As Bloomberg notes, the most recent version of the House GOP healthcare bill would have significantly weakened protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
“And Obamacare just so you know, Obamacare’s terrible on preexisting conditions, you know why?” Trump added. “Cause you’re not going to have it. It’s folding. It’s gone.”
That clears it up?
He’s “Looking at” Breaking Up the Big Banks
“I’m looking at that right now,” Trump said. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that.”
Breaking up the banks would be a welcome change, if, of course, Trump would actually do that. But it remains to be seen how far Trump would go with his cabinet full of Goldman Sachs vets, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
The markets reacted as if someone capable of following up on any of his promises had given the interview, and not Trump.
— Bloomberg (@business) May 1, 2017
No One Is Safe From North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons
In a separate interview with Fox News, Trump shared a few more thoughts about North Korea.
Trump to Fox News on North Korea: “Well nobody’s safe. I mean who’s safe? The guy’s got nuclear weapons.” pic.twitter.com/z652PVwnWL
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 1, 2017
Trump’s half hour of ideologically-incoherent rambling today comes after a weekend in which he said Andrew Jackson could have prevented the Civil War had he not died 16 years before it started and during which he refused to elaborate on or defend his comments from earlier this year, when he called President Obama “sick and bad” after incorrectly claiming that he’d been wiretapped.
When asked a tough but fair question about wiretapping, Trump folded faster than a lawn chair. Let's hope more reporters show some courage. pic.twitter.com/XWyANszCSs
— Mike Levin (@MikeLevin) May 1, 2017