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Trump in Duluth: No ‘humble-bragging’ here

MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
President Donald Trump speaking to attendees of the June 20 rally in Duluth.

You’ve heard of “humble-bragging,” where you feign modesty while calling attention to how great you really are. Our president doesn’t mess around with such subtlety. He just flat-out brags. Also lies.  

And he came to Minnesota last night to remind us how great he is and how well everything has been going in America since he took over.

I wasn’t in Duluth for the speech, but watched it on C-Span. (You can too, here.)

President Trump’s Olympian ineloquent display of lies, half-truths and (mostly) braggadocio left me horrified but not really surprised. (If you think about it, it’s hard to be horrified without being surprised but, with the help of the commander in chief, I managed that challenging combination).  

My colleague Cyndy Brucato actually attended and her coverage is available here. So I’ll just pass along some of the self-flattery and inanity.

The president claimed, for example, to have delivered the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. (He’s done that before.) He mocked the news media — many, many times during his remarks but in this case for daring to criticize him for meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. (I, for one, am fine with the meeting, but will declare Korea nuke-free when it actually occurs.)

Trump predicted that Kim Jong Un will turn North Korea into “a great country,” congratulated himself for making friends with Kim because “it means we’re safe.” (Trump, by the way, also described Chinese President Xi Jinping of China as “a friend of mine,” and wrapped up that portion by declaring that, thanks to his efforts, “everybody’s going to live in peace. … And, most important of all, it means that America is respected again.”

He played a lot of his old hits from the 2016 campaign, saying, for example, that “Make America Great Again” was “the greatest phrase in the history of politics.”

As he declared that, by their stand against his border policies, Democrats “put illegal immigrants before they put American citizens – what the hell is going on?” the audience, overwhelmingly pro-Trump except for a couple of protesters who were escorted out when they engaged in disruptions, replied with chants of “Build that wall!”

He took a shot at Sen. John McCain for voting against the Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate — although, with unusual restraint and perhaps because McCain is fighting for his life against cancer, Trump delivered the shot without mentioning McCain’s name. (But he described an unnamed senator who signaled how he planned to vote by giving a thumbs down sign; only McCain did that.)

And, in a surprise jiu-jitsu maneuver, Trump said that Russia actually wishes that “Crooked Hillary” had won the election, because of all the great things that have been happening in America since he took over.

Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/21/2018 - 10:58 am.

    Trump is good

    at giving campaign rallies in small cities where he gets an appreciative audience.
    Note that he did not appear in the Twin Cities area where 2/3 of the population of the state lives.
    His only hope and legitimacy is still the Electoral College. His support is still in the low 40’s for the population as a whole. He doesn’t pretend to represent most of us.

    • Submitted by kevin terrell on 06/21/2018 - 12:11 pm.

      Be careful what you ask for…

      You may recall Trump held a rally at MSP airport, which I’m pretty sure is in the metro area. He will be in Fargo next week, which is a 2-fer on going after Heitkamp and Minnesota. I predict you will see him here more, including the metro – again.

      Should be fun.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/21/2018 - 11:03 am.

    Once again…

    …”the illusion of central position” was on display, this time in Duluth, as were a number of delusions from which Mr. Trump suffers. Alas, if the crowd was as enthused as it appeared, lots of Minnesotans share those same delusions, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. And, just to toss it out there, I found myself wondering how many in that crowd were paid to be there? Even more frightening if the answer is “none.”

    Every time I think the bar can’t go any lower, it does, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the President was congratulating himself for changing the family separation policy at the border – not required by law – that he himself implemented. That he was able to reverse that policy by executive order merely demonstrates that he could have avoided the resultant trauma for a couple thousand children altogether, but chose not to. Call it cruel – or call it patriotic – but whatever you call it, it still qualifies as the behavior of a thug.

  3. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 06/21/2018 - 11:21 am.

    I wonder how many of those fervid Trump-cult folks in Duluth had actually read the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report on the FBI investigations? We know that Donald Trump himself–a famous non-reader with short attention span in the first place–had not read it. So he himself doesn’t know what’s in the report, which is highly nuanced and takes informed shots at this and that. But the report never would say what Trump tries to get his cult to believe, that Russia favored Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

    You’d have to be a Know-Nothing to claim that in June 2018. Or to claim that there is nothing in the public’s knowledge, the public record (we still don’t know about what Mueller has), about the Trump campaign’s collaboration with Russians in the 2016 campaign.

  4. Submitted by Misty Martin on 06/21/2018 - 11:29 am.

    I really have to quit reading about President Trump . . .

    At least while I am on my lunch hour. It gives me indigestion.

    I’m having a hard time imagining “Make America Great Again” when I see those disturbing pictures of crying children being separated from their parents, as their parents seek asylum in this country.
    The response that former First Lady Laura Bush had when she spoke out against this tragedy said it all. As she so bravely stated: the images are “eerily reminiscent of the internment camps for U. S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during WWII, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U. S. history.”

    I heard that yesterday President Trump signed an Executive Order stating that families should be interned together, only problem now is: where are the 2,000 or more immigrant children, separated from their parents under this zero-tolerance policy residing now? I also heard on the news as I was leaving for work, that “no one agency” knows where they all are, so that reuniting them with their families, may not be immediately possible, if at all possible – I also read where one distraught father hung himself in his prison cell after being separated from his son.

    I also read where the House of Representatives were to meet today to discuss legislation to handle this growing crisis; but I wonder . . . will this time in history also go down in the archives as one of the most shameful episodes in U. S. history? From my position, I believe that it very well might.

  5. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 06/21/2018 - 02:24 pm.

    As an amused onlooker, I cannot help but conclude that what leftists are most shook up over is, Trump is just flat out better at twisting reality than they are. He’s even taken mangling the English language to heights lefty propagandists can only dream of.

    His rally looked like a lot of fun, BTW. I like to see folks enjoy themselves.

    • Submitted by ian wade on 06/21/2018 - 06:18 pm.

      What’s not amusing

      is reading from seemingly intelligent individuals that think a lying, boorish president is just fine.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/21/2018 - 08:38 pm.


      There’s nothing like a good ol’ lynching.
      What bothers us is not as much his lying (he’s made a career of it) as the fact that a third of the population seems to accept it.
      But I agree — ‘twisted’ is a good descriptor.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/22/2018 - 09:48 am.

      Fulsome Praise, Indeed

      We’ve reached the point when “My guy lies better than your guys, and you’re just jealous” is a talking point.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 06/22/2018 - 12:21 pm.

      Dear amused on looker…

      Either you own him or you don’t. It’s too precious from many conservatives who are smart enough to see that the Trump train may soon speed off the cliff and into a smoking pile of indicted criminal debris at the bottom, yet, don’t have the courage to put a stake in the ground of support or non-support. At least the red hatted malcontents in Duluth had the courage to be for something as did their opposites protesting outside the arena and most folks here, except for a few amused onlookers waiting to see how the wind blows….

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 06/26/2018 - 08:30 pm.

        I owned his Gorsuch pick, and I’ll own his next pick. I own all of the solid conservatives he’s putting on the federal appeals bench.

        Putting the kibosh on the all out invasion of our Southern border is gravy that I didn’t really think he’d accomplish, but to my delight he is, so I guess I can claim to own that too.

        And after all that, I’m still highly amused.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/23/2018 - 03:44 pm.

      Remind me to remind you of your amusement the next time you put on your strict constitutionalism patriot hat. The worm tuns and with the bar now set at a subterranean level, you’ll never know what will crawl through next.

      Happy 4th of July to you and your amused compatriots–this is exactly what the Revolution was all about, eh ?

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