Donald Trump seemed to enjoy his briefing in Puerto Rico last week, and it’s easy to understand why. The president got to host an event where people took turns praising him; he congratulated himself on an “incredible” job well done; and he chided Puerto Rico for interfering with the U.S. budget, before telling locals they didn’t suffer a “real catastrophe.”But perhaps the indelible image from Trump’s brief visit to the island was watching him lob paper towels to locals as if he were having fun shooting free throws.
As the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale noted, this was a moment the president was eager to defend when he sat down with Mike Huckabee, who now has a new show on a Christian cable network.
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at the “fake” journalists who criticized him for tossing rolls of paper towel to Puerto Rican hurricane victims.
The paper towels, he said, were beautiful. And soft.
“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” Trump said in a conversation that aired Sunday on Christian television network Trinity Broadcasting. “And I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. And they were screaming and they were loving everything. I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, ‘Throw ‘em to me! Throw ‘em to me, Mr. President!’”
These towels were amazing. Incredible. They were just tremendous. They were quite possibly the paper-towel equivalent of the chocolate cake served at Trump’s luxury golf resort in Florida.
And let’s not forget, for an island devastated by a hurricane, with residents struggling without electricity or potable water, “beautiful, soft towels” are no doubt in high demand.
We also learned during the interview that Trump believes:
* the “filibuster rule” prevented Republicans from passing a health care bill, which still isn’t even close to being true;
* Iran is “funding” North Korea, a claim for which he’s offered no proof;
* he created the word “fake”;
* the Middle East is “much less of a mess now” thanks to himself;
* the Las Vegas gunman was “a sick person, but probably smart”;
* and repealing the Affordable Care Act, sending block grants to states instead, would mean Trump could stop focusing on “fixing somebody’s back or their knee.”
This was a timely reminder of why the president rarely does interviews with journalists from major, independent news organizations. Real reporters might be inclined to ask follow-up questions and press Trump after plainly ridiculous answers. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, whose daughter is the president’s press secretary, touted Trump as a “rock star.”