Day 1,272: Sweaty and incoherent, an unhinged Trump goes full MAGA rally from Rose Garden
With nothing on Donald Trump’s Tuesday calendar, the White House announced an impromptu press conference in the Rose Garden later in the afternoon. The announcement, almost certainly non-coincidentally, came just before a Joe Biden speech was set to be carried live by CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
By the time Trump appeared, he had worked himself in a physical and mental lather. He began by talking about China, and patting himself on the back for his perception of how he has handled matters involving Beijing.
No administration has been tougher on China than this administration. We imposed historic tariffs. We stood up to China’s intellectual property theft, at a level that nobody has ever come close. We confronted untrustworthy Chinese technology and telecom providers. We convinced many countries — many countries — and I did this myself, for the most part — not to use Huawei because we think it’s an unsafe security risk. It’s a big security risk. I talked many countries out of using it. If they want to do business with us, they can’t use it.
It was inevitable Trump was going to go into rally mode and it didn’t take long, stringing together lie after lie after lie.
We withdrew from the Chinese-dominated WHO, and we fully rebuilt the United States military.
China has 1.4 billion people; we have 325- — probably 325 million, approximately. Nobody can give the exact count. We’re trying to get an exact count. But you have, over the years, many illegals who have come into the country, so it depends on how you want to count it. But you could say 325- to 350 million people, as opposed to 1.4 billion people.
It only took about six minutes for the affair to became blatantly partisan in a non-political arena. Trump leveled a number of attacks against Joe Biden. By the end, Trump had name-checked Biden more than two dozen times, including at one point noting that Biden’s policies would result in “basically  no windows” in new buildings.
Trump hasn’t hosted a rally since his disastrous event in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20. It appeared that he was imagining the quiet press corps in front of him as surrogates for a semi-filled arena of his supporters.
He ranted about “law and order,” did some dog-whistling, lamented imaginary mail-in voter fraud, yelled to no one in particular about Biden’s son — “But Hunter — where’s Hunter? Where is Hunter, by the way?” — and ridiculously claimed that “[t]he European Union was formed in order to take advantage of the United States. They formed, and they take advantage of the United States. And I know that, and they know I know that, but other Presidents had no idea.”
He continued his bizarre tall tale that an executive order is enough to establish a law that if someone vandalizes a federal monument they automatically go to jail for 10 years. At one point Trump nonsensically alleged, presumably about protesters, “they were going to go for the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln.”
We haven’t had anybody making a move since I enacted this. I signed an executive order a couple of weeks ago, and it says very simply, “Ten years in jail.” You do it, 10 years in jail. The amazing part is we’re able to catch everybody because, thanks to all of you on television — we appreciate it — but we have their pictures. We have the man standing on Andrew Jackson’s horse. We have the man standing by General George Washington. We have everybody standing — you know, they were going to go for the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln, standing with a young man who was being freed. And we said, “We’re going to do something. We can’t let this happen.”
Answering questions from reporters for just a few minutes of what was ostensibly a press conference, Trump was no better. He dismissed polls and all evidence that he’s behind in the 2020 race, citing boats and bikers.
These events — in this case a Rose Garden MAGA rally with no throngs of supporters in sight — are designed exclusively to make Trump feel good and give him something to do. When it was over, he was quickly back on Twitter, apparently getting an endorphin rush 280 characters at a time.
1,272 days in, 190 to go
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