Trump spent Thursday demonstrating why Biden's primetime speech was right on target
The president gave voice to uncomfortable truths that the mainstream media struggles to unequivocally express.
Hours before President Biden delivered a primetime speech in which he forcefully called out the threat to democracy posed by Trump and his supporters, the former guy did an interview with a fringe right-wing program that encapsulated why Biden was dead on to describe the MAGA movement as cult-like extremism that doesn’t respect the constitution or the rule of law.
Although a number of mainstream reporters are struggling to deal with it, Biden’s comments about the shabby state of the Republican Party were undeniably correct. Trump, by contrast, spent Thursday morning serving up his usual buffet of BS to the MAGA base.
Instead of going on Fox News or even Newsmax, Trump called in to an obscure show hosted by Wendy Bell, a former Pittsburgh TV anchor who was fired from WTAE-TV in 2016 over a racist Facebook post. To give you an idea of how fringe Bell is, know that I ingest news media for a living and was totally unfamiliar with her before Thursday morning (she’s perhaps best known these days for hosting a once-weekly program on Newsmax). And in true right-wing grifter fashion, her show is sponsored by something called BODY by AIM360, a product that markets itself as a “weight loss, hormone balance, and digestive health medical center.”
Given that Bell was totally off my radar, I might not even have been aware that Trump was on her show if it wasn’t for a short clip posted on Twitter by Ron Filipkowski that gives you a flavor of the desperate state of Trump’s efforts to twist the criminal investigation of his mishandling of classified materials into an attack on the DOJ.
In the real world, of course, the FBI search had nothing to do with Hillary’s emails. Agents were looking for classified materials Trump failed to turn over to the government even after feds tried to work with him for more than a year to resolve the matter without having to resort to a search warrant. But part of the appeal of going on a show like Bell’s for Trump is that instead of challenging his nonsense, she just nodded along and agreed with him.
That wasn’t the only interview Trump did with a small sycophantic outlet on Thursday morning. He also went on Real America’s Voice — the right-wing outlet probably best known as the home of Steve Bannon’s show — to offer a thinly-veiled threat.
“They raided a house of a president, a former president, and [are] setting a whole new standard for what’s going to come later, I would imagine,” he said. “We’re like a third-world nation.”
The rest of the interview established that Trump is resorting to threats because he doesn’t have anything better to work with. He claimed all of the classified materials seized from his residence were declassified by him — even though there’s no indication he followed the process for doing that while he was still in office, and despite the fact that a photo contained in a DOJ court filing made clear many of the documents were unmistakably marked as classified.
Biden didn’t mince words about all this
Trump’s antics on Thursday illustrated much of what Biden said hours later during his primetime speech in Philadelphia — one that began with him saying that “equality and democracy are under assault.”