Donald Trump hosted a lengthy, televised White House meeting on Tuesday, bringing lawmakers together to discuss immigration policy in the Cabinet Room. It’s possible that the conversation was intend to dispel concerns that the president is an unstable television addict.
But if that was the intended purpose, Trump didn’t exactly help his own case yesterday when he appeared in the same room to reflect on the hours of television coverage he saw about the discussion from the day before.
“[I]t got great reviews by everybody other than two networks, who were phenomenal for about two hours. Then, after that, they were called by their bosses for saying, ‘Oh, wait a minute.’ And, unfortunately, a lot of those anchors sent us letters saying that was one of the greatest meetings they’ve ever witnessed. And they were great. For about two hours, they were phenomenal. And then they went a little bit south on us, but not that bad. It was fine.
“They probably wish they didn’t send us those letters of congratulations.”
Let’s unpack this a bit, because it offers some notable insights into the president’s perspective.
First, Trump apparently monitored hours of television news coverage of Tuesday’s meeting, for reasons that only make sense to the president. Second, he apparently believes there’s a conspiracy involving media “bosses” who require criticism of the White House.
What’s more, asked for evidence of “letters” from “anchors” who praised Trump’s meeting, the White House sent out a package of complimentary clips and tweets – which suggests the “letters” from “anchors” exist only in the president’s imagination.
But even putting all of that aside, what I cared most about the assertion that Tuesday’s immigration “was one of the greatest meetings” observers have ever witnessed.
This is part of an amazing self-aggrandizing pattern:
1. Trump on his first address to a joint session of Congress: “A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.”
2. Trump on his speech in Poland last summer: “Enemies of mine in the media, enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.”
4. Trump yesterday on his immigration discussion: “A lot of those anchors sent us letters saying that was one of the greatest meetings they’ve ever witnessed.” (The letters don’t exist.)
There’s a reason questions about Trump’s stability persist.