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GOP anchor exposes Trump stunt: "A shiny object to distract" from questions of mental stability

Donald Trump has endured an absolutely horrendous news cycle the past week, with the release of Michael Wolff’s instant bestseller spurring fresh debate about Trump’s mental stability. On Tuesday, Trump tried — and failed — to strike a completely different tone in his bipartisan immigration meeting with congressional leaders. But while nothing really meaningful got done, […]

By Matthew Chapman - January 09, 2018
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GOP strategist and MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace

On Tuesday, Trump tried — and failed — to strike a completely different tone in his bipartisan immigration meeting with congressional leaders.

But while nothing really meaningful got done, the timing of the event was just a little too fortuitous.

In conversation with Jonathan Lemire of the Associated Press, MSNBC contributor and “Never Trump” Republican Nicolle Wallace pointed out that today’s meeting may have only been a distraction:

WALLACE: Let me ask you about the scene at the White House today, a very well-produced display of bipartisan legislating. I’m not sure why we’re first seeing it more than a year in. But I wonder if, you know, one, that was a shiny object to distract from a news cycle that we know they don’t like, and two, if you thought there was anything in there — I saw Donald Trump respond favorably to Dianne Feinstein’s pitch to do a clean DACA fix, and then deal with security afterward, then I saw Majority Leader McCarthy say, nononononononononono — it was almost like watching an uncomfortable dinner, you know, with family members, but, you know, I wonder what she made of the display, if you’re as encouraged as Congressman Swalwell that that’s a sign of things to come, or if it was optics.

LEMIRE: It was certainly interesting just to have — that we got such a look at something like this. Usually a pool spray is a minute or two at the top of a meeting. To be in there for all 55 minutes, that’s certainly — if nothing else, for transparency — that’s encouraging. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that something like this, with the president in a, running a meeting like this, comes on the heels of stories that question his mental capacity, the stories of “executive time” that says that the amount of leisure, television, and Twitter time that he demands. So I think that the White House wanted to present an image of him in charge, running a meeting, but, as you just said, what came out of it was some mixed messaging.

“Mixed messaging” is a polite way of saying that Trump came off looking like he had absolutely no grasp of the most basic aspects of policy.

As Wallace pointed out, Trump seemed to have no idea what a “clean bill” actually is.

If Wallace is correct, and this was indeed Trump’s attempt to appear stable enough to carry out the tasks of governing, that is all the more pathetic.

The meeting did nothing but enforce the fact that he isn’t fit to hold the office he occupies.


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