When President Donald Trump sits down to chat on cable news, he doesn’t just give an interview – he almost always gives an absolutely sprawling half-hour appearance. On April 26, he called in to his favorite morning show, Fox News’ Fox & Friends, to clear the air on policies, chat about recent events, and inevitably, wind up somewhat like a grandfather rambling before an awkward family meal.
It all started innocently enough as the show’s hosts – Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade – and Trump exchanged thoughts on the appearance taking place on First Lady Melania Trump‘s birthday. Trump explained he is “very busy” – too busy, in fact, to get her a gift . . . but he did get her a “beautiful card” and loved her work on the France visit, a visit he noted as being very successful (which apparently resulted in President Emmanuel Macron looking at the Iran Deal quite differently).
Then things rolled toward a downward slope. Trump began to tap into his “very cool” “dragon energy” to address specific policies and happenings. Triggered by the mention of Ronny Jackson’s withdrawal from the nomination to lead Veterans Affairs, Trump described the VA as a “big monster,” emphasizing Jackson had been auditioning for a role the president himself would never do. To be clear, Jackson’s withdrawal came as the result of allegations that he crashed a government vehicle while drunk driving, but Trump used time on the morning show to emphasize that Jackson still would have been great for the job based on their own patient-doctor relationship, Jackson having a son at Annapolis, and Jackson’s generally “unblemished,” “beautiful record.” Trump mentioned he does have a new idea for the next nominee, but would not reveal the name.
After Jackson, the topics shifted to more incendiary subjects like James Comey (“Comey is a leaker and a liar . . . He’s been leaking for years.”), the salacious Russian memos (“They’re phony memos . . . For instance, I went to Russia for a day or so – a day or two – because I own the Miss Universe pageant.”), the Justice Department (“They have a witch hunt against the President of the United States.”), his tenure as president (“We have accomplished more than any president in the first year.”), Kanye West (“He’s smart.”), the black community’s political identification (“Republicans really did ‘the thing.'” “The thing” Trump referred to is slavery.), Shania Twain (“She made a mistake.”), Candace Owens (“She’s fantastic.”), the election (“We won it easily.”), North Korea (“It was very nasty with little rocket man.”), and – of course – the “dishonest” news (“Fox . . . you don’t always treat me great but you treat me fairly.”).
Naturally, there was also some talk about the “crazy Stormy Daniels deal” and Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, a “good guy” who was the recent target of an FBI raid related to paying persons to keep silent on the president’s extramarital affairs. “From what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump said, prompting host Ainsley Earhardt to ask why Cohen is then pleading the fifth. “Because he’s got other things,” Trump insisted. “His lawyers probably told him to do that. But I’m not involved . . . and I’ve been told I’m not involved!”
As the interview drew to a (loud) close, Trump took on – or was given – several uninterrupted minutes to prattle on and on and on about all the aforementioned subjects, rolling to one Trump-tastic grand finale: the grade he would give himself for his performance as president thus far. “I would give myself an A+,” he proclaimed. “Nobody has done what I’ve been able to do.”