Monday, August 1, 2016

"I've had a beautiful, I've had a flawless campaign"

The Washington Post has now posted a full transcript of Trump's interview on ABC this weekend — the one in which he sadistically and cruelly mocked the parents of the Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq and produced perhaps the single most incoherent foreign policy statement in modern memory — but once again it's the things that don't make headlines that are just as mind-boggling in affirming Trump's lock on the Jack D. Ripper look alike contest.

At the very start of the interview, he

• asserted a half dozen times that he has "one of the great temperaments"

•  offered the following syllogism

(major premise) I ran a "beautiful,  flawless campaign"
(minor premise) Hillary Clinton in her acceptance speech "criticized my campaign"
(conclusion) therefore "she's a very dishonest person"

Extra credit to all logic students who can spot the flaw in this reasoning.

George Stephanopoulos began the interview by quoting Clinton's charge that "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

Here is how it went from there:

TRUMP: She's a very dishonest person. I have one of the great temperaments. I have a winning temperament. She has a bad temperament. She's weak. We need a strong temperament. And that's all it is. I have a strong temperament—I know how to win.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Polls do show some concern about this, that— whether you can be trusted with the nuclear codes.
TRUMP: Well, I think that's probably because Hillary, that's all they talk about is temperament. I think I have a great temperament. I beat 16 very talented people in— and I've never done this before. You don't do that with a bad temperament. I'm leading her in the polls, as you probably have noticed. And I think I have a great temperament.
I have a temperament where I know how to win. She doesn't know how to win. Honestly, she lies a lot. And she really— she should tell — the truth. I honestly believe, if she told the truth -- 'cause she made some reference to my campaigning, I've had a beautiful— I've had a flawless campaign. You'll be writing books about this campaign. And yet, she's criticizing my campaign.

• Later, after mocking the mother of the dead soldier for standing next to her husband while he spoke movingly of their sacrifice and love for America and the Constitution, Trump claimed credit for inventing the idea that NATO should fight terrorism—15 years after NATO sent troops to support the United States' fight on terrorism in Afghanistan:

I'm all in favor of NATO. I said, "NATO's obsolete." I was asked a question by one of your competitors. And I said, "NATO's obsolete. Because it's not taking care of terror."
You understand that. And it turned out I was right. A lotta people gave me credit for that. Then three months ago, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, they said, "NATO to develop a terror division." And somebody who's supposed to be very extraordinary is put in charge of it. That was all because of me. So I was right about that.

• And finally, he once again invoked his favorite pet narcissistic notion that even though he's running for President of the United States, and has spent a year publicly issuing a stream of inflammatory, insulting, divisive, hate-filled, unconstitutional, unethical, reckless, dangerous, and incoherent notions, anyone who criticizes him who "he's never met" is being unfair because they "don't know me" — including retired four-star Marine general John Allen who criticized Trump specifically for advocating the war crimes of torturing prisoners and killing the family members of terrorists:

The generals aren't doing so well right now. Now, I have a feeling it may be Obama's fault. But — if you look at ISIS — General McArthur and General Patton, they're spinning in their graves. The generals certainly aren't doing very well right now. And — General Allen, after I saw he was on ranting and raving about me, who he never met— I checked up. Guess what. They weren't so happy with him. He didn't beat ISIS. He didn't beat ISIS. He didn't do even well with ISIS.