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Trump’s disastrous TIME interview

Donald Trump gave an interview yesterday to TIME magazine’s Michael Scherer. And it was quite a doozy.

The interview reinforces every concern about Trump, from the narcissism and insecurity to deceitfulness. It’s worth a read — TIME, thankfully, printed it verbatim, to let it speak for itself.

Among the highlights, Trump defends his false claims about thousands of Muslim New Yorkers celebrating on September 11, about three million undocumented immigrants voting in the election, about Ted Cruz’s father palling around with Lee Harvey Oswald, and about the British government illegally spying on Trump before he came to office.

On those last two points — Cruz and the Brits — Trump is claiming that he was simply quoting a newspaper and a respect newsman on TV. The newspaper was the National Enquirer, and the respected reporter was an uber-conservative commentator on Fox News.

Politifact already fact-checked the interview, and found a host of lies.

Here are a few key snippets:

TIME: But you would agree also that some of the things you have said haven’t been true. You say that Ted Cruz’s father was with Lee Harvey Oswald.

TRUMP: Well that was in a newspaper. No, no, I like Ted Cruz, he’s a friend of mine. But that was in the newspaper. I wasn’t, I didn’t say that. I was referring to a newspaper. A Ted Cruz article referred to a newspaper story with, had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald, having breakfast.

TIME: That gets close to the heart…

Donald Trump and his small hand, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

TRUMP: Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano, I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier, I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.

TIME: But traditionally people in your position in the Oval Office have not said things unless they can verify they are true.

Well, I’m not, well, I think, I’m not saying, I’m quoting, Michael, I’m quoting highly respected people and sources from major television networks.

He’s just quoting. Note how many times above Trump mentions “quoting,” as though that somehow exonerates him from spreading lies.

And here’s Trump citing a whole list of false claims:

TIME: Do you want me to give you a quick overview [of the story]?

TRUMP: Yeah, it’s a cool story. I mean it’s, the concept is right. I predicted a lot of things, Michael. Some things that came to you a little bit later. But, you know, we just rolled out a list. Sweden. I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems. Huma [Abedin] and Anthony [Weiner], you know, what I tweeted about that whole deal, and then it turned out he had it, all of Hillary’s email on his thing. NATO, obsolete, because it doesn’t cover terrorism. They fixed that, and I said that the allies must pay. Nobody knew that they weren’t paying. I did. I figured it. Brexit, I was totally right about that. You were over there I think, when I predicted that, right, the day before. Brussels, I said, Brussels is not Brussels. I mean many other things, the election’s rigged against Bernie Sanders. We have a lot of things.

So much of that paragraph is a lie. Trump claimed there was a huge terror attack in Sweden. Lie, no attack. Massive riots with deaths? Lie — there were no deaths from the riot. Huma and Weiner had all of Hillary’s emails? Lie, the investigation found no new emails on Weiner’s computer. NATO doesn’t do terrorism? Lie, NATO rallied to our defense on September 11. They fixed it because Trump complained? Lie, Trump wasn’t president on 9/11. Nobody knew NATO allies were paying their “dues”? Lie, there are no dues. Everyone knew that many of our NATO allies weren’t keeping their promise to spend at least 2% of GDP on defense? Lie, it’s been a big issue for years. Brussels is not Brussels? Who ever knows what that means.

There’s nothing new in the interview in that it simply reinforces what we already know about Trump. Not terribly bright or curious, and loose with facts and truth, quite concerned and insecure about his image and abilities, and never admitting a mistake.

Still, that interview furthers a narrative that Trump is woefully unfit for office.

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