'Death Valley': Trump laments possible ratings for his trial defense

Just when it seemed Trump couldn't find anything new to complain about regarding his impeachment trial, this morning he took aim at the Senate's schedule.
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By Steve Benen

Just when it seemed Donald Trump couldn't find anything new to complain about regarding his impeachment trial, the president this morning took aim at the Senate's schedule.

President Donald Trump on Friday slammed Democratic House impeachment managers for perpetrating "lies, fraud and deception" and complained that his own legal defense team would have to start their arguments on Saturday -- what the president said is called "Death Valley in T.V."

"After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin' Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.," tweeted Trump, a former reality television star known widely for being especially cognizant of how things play on television.

I don't think I've ever heard another person who doesn't work in the television industry who's quite as preoccupied with television ratings as Donald Trump.

Nevertheless, much of his complaint was nonsensical -- his case against the House impeachment process has gone completely off the rails, for example -- though I couldn't help but notice that the president didn't blame anyone in particular for the schedule.

And that's probably because Democrats presented a plan in which Trump's lawyers wouldn't have begun their defense on a Saturday, but Republicans ignored the effort.

In fact, on the trial's opening day, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a series of proposed amendments, one of which -- the 10th, for those keeping score -- would have kept the president's arguments away from the ratings "death valley." Republicans, a little too eager to expedite the process, rejected the effort.

All of which suggests Trump is unsatisfied with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) schedule -- notwithstanding the Republican leader's vow to remain in "total coordination" with the White House counsel's office.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog