Being president has changed Donald Trump, for the better, or at least he thinks so. He has developed the inner strength to do something that he never thought he could do, or at least he says so.
And what is that thing? That thing is to watch TV news about himself on channels or shows that say mean things about him.
The revelation of this amazing new strength that the president has developed – and I mean really surprising and amazing – provides the climactic ending of a long interview that Trump granted recently to Julie Pace of the Associated Press.
If you think I’m being snotty about it, well, maybe I am, but I am not exaggerating even slightly how big of a deal the president made about it, and how surprising he found it that has developed this new strength to not listen to criticism or, at least, to not watch TV when he is being criticized. I’ll attach that portion, the climactic ending, of the long interview.
The AP published a transcript of the whole interview. You can read it here. I encourage you to do so, although there isn’t much in it that I would call “news.” You might be taken aback at how staggeringly inarticulate, bordering on incoherent, and how self-obsessed Trump can be and how fragile his ego seems, if you actually read this many paragraphs in a row of him talking.
But perhaps you have grown used to it. He, himself, says he is doing great so far, but that doesn’t surprise him. What surprises is the ability I mentioned above. Here’s that portion, which is how the interview ends:
TRUMP: OK. The one thing I’ve learned to do that I never thought I had the ability to do. I don’t watch CNN anymore.
AP: You just said you did.
TRUMP: No. No, I, if I’m passing it, what did I just say (inaudible)?
AP: You just said —
TRUMP: Where? Where?
AP: Two minutes ago.
TRUMP: No, they treat me so badly. No, I just said that. No, I, what’d I say, I stopped watching them. But I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC. I don’t watch it. Now I heard yesterday that MSNBC, you know, they tell me what’s going on.
TRUMP: In fact, they also did. I never thought I had the ability to not watch. Like, people think I watch (MSNBC’s) “Morning Joe.” I don’t watch “Morning Joe.” I never thought I had the ability to, and who used to treat me great by the way, when I played the game. I never thought I had the ability to not watch what is unpleasant, if it’s about me. Or pleasant. But when I see it’s such false reporting and such bad reporting and false reporting that I’ve developed an ability that I never thought I had. I don’t watch things that are unpleasant. I just don’t watch them.
AP: And do you feel like that’s, that’s because of the office that you now occupy —
AP: That you’ve made that change?
TRUMP: I don’t know why it is, but I’ve developed that ability, and it’s happened over the last, over the last year.
AP: That’s interesting.
TRUMP: And I don’t watch things that I know are going to be unpleasant. CNN has covered me unfairly and incorrectly and I don’t watch them anymore. A lot of people don’t watch them anymore; they’re now in third place. But I’ve created something where people are watching … but I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC anymore. I don’t watch things, and I never thought I had that ability. I always thought I’d watch.
TRUMP: I just don’t. And that’s taken place over the last year. And you know what that is, that’s a great, it’s a great thing because you leave, you leave for work in the morning you know, you’re, you don’t watch this total negativity. I never thought I’d be able to do that and for me, it’s so easy to do now. Just don’t watch.
AP: That’s interesting.
TRUMP: Maybe it’s because I’m here. I don’t know.