In a bizarre interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, Trump actually argued whether identifying an elephant was strong evidence of mental stability.
And what is perhaps most shocking about it was that Fox News aired the interview, which used to have what could be called a cozy relationship with the president.
That relationship has soured it seems. Trump said to Wallace,
“I’m not a big fan of Fox, I’ll be honest with you.”
Wallace told Trump of a Fox News poll that showed Trump losing by eight points to the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden. Trump said,
“I’m not losing, because those are fake polls.”
Wallace asked Trump if he did lose, would he accept defeat. Trump said,
“I have to see. Look … I have to see.
No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”
The Fox News poll also showed that when asked if Biden and Trump had the mental soundness to serve as president more were certain Trump did not (51%) than Biden (39%).
Trump, 74, responded by asking that Biden, 77, immediately take a cognitive test. Trump said last week that he “aced” an unspecified test. It is assumed he is referring to a cognitive assessment from 2018. Wallace, 72, said he had also taken the test, after seeing the president had. Wallace said,
“It’s not the hardest test. They have a picture and it says ‘What’s that’ and it’s an elephant.”
Trump said Wallace was misrepresenting the test, a screening assessment widely used by doctors.
“I’ll bet you couldn’t. They get very hard, the last five questions.”
The interview got very tense when it touched on COVID-19, which has infected 3.7 million and killed more than 140,000 people in the US.
Wallace repeatedly pressed Trump about the death toll, which the president attempted to deflect by pointing to mortality rates in other countries and saying the US had
“one of the lowest in the world.”
Wallace said, correctly.
“That’s not true, sir.”
Trump then asked his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany,
“Please bring me the mortality rate.
You have the numbers, please? Because I hear we have the best mortality rate. Number, number one low mortality rate.”
Waving a paper, Trump said:
“I hope you show this on air, because it shows what fake news is about.”
“I don’t think I’m fake news.”
Wallace then showed a montage of Trump’s comments minimizing COVID-19, by saying it will “disappear” at some point.
“I’ll be right eventually. It is going to disappear. I’ll say it again, it’s going to disappear and I’ll be right.”
Trump went on to say masks can cause problems (they do not) and to say an increase in testing is why the US has such a high number of cases. It is not.
And when Wallace asked Trump his feelings about the U.S. coronavirus daily death toll being around 1,000 per day, he responded,
“It is what it is.”
Here are some “lowlights” of the very long interview. I can’t stand to hear him speak but go for it if you like crazy.
Any interview that yields a split-screen like this must be going great pic.twitter.com/VvZ1vquv5m— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) July 19, 2020
(via The Guardian)