‘I comprehend extraordinarily well’: 5 priceless Trump moments you may have missed in his Axios interview

Trump profile shot from the Axios interview

Screenshot / YouTube

On July 28, President Trump spoke to Jonathon Swan of Axios. This was a big mistake. The world can’t stop talking about those fatal 38 minutes. In just over half an hour, the President made claims unsupported by evidence or fact. Many were even more wild and disturbing than usual.

Some of the highlights include the President’s chilling response to the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States: “It is what it is.” Later, he also boasted that America was “lower than the world” in testing. Once again, the President also asserted he has “done more than any other President for the Black community.” Including the Civil Rights Act, apparently.

That’s what everybody is talking about. Here are five whoppers you might have missed—including his laughable pitch to Blacks on the economy:

1. The ‘tremendous crowd’

A photograph of Trump speaking to a half empty stadium in Tulsa.

Wikimedia

President Trump: We had a tremendous crowd, we had tremendous response. It was like an armed camp. You couldn’t even get through. You couldn’t get anybody in. But we had 12,000 people.

At this moment in the interview, President Trump is boasting about the attendance to his Tulsa rally. This rally took place on June 20, in the middle of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. He appears proud to have orchestrated a crowd he claims is 12,000 strong. Trump supporters of all ages gathered in close proximity, while a highly infectious and potentially deadly disease circulated the stadium.

Three weeks later, there was a spike in COVID-19 cases.

2. Trump ‘comprehends extraordinarily well’

Trump's latest interview is "Biden's Campaign Ad"

Screenshot / YouTube

President Trump: I comprehend extraordinarily well, probably better than anybody that you’ve interviewed in a long time. I read a lot. I spend a lot of time at meetings. Usually it’s once a day or at least two or three times a week, intelligence meetings.

There was a bizarre section of the interview, where Jonathon Swan was attempting to find out whether Trump was aware of the Russian bounty on American soldiers. The President absolved himself from responsibility for issues that “did not reach his desk.” Even though he “comprehends extraordinarily well” and spends at least three days a week in meetings.

Apparently, the accusation that a foreign nation could have a bounty on the heads of your armed forces is not worth bringing up in a phone call. Why bother, when “that’s an issue that many people said was fake news”?

3. ‘We killed them a hundred percent, not 99%’

A photograph of Donald Trump standing at a podium giving two thumb's up

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Towards the middle of the interview, the conversation moved to the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East. On this topic, Trump appeared pleased as punch:

 When I took over Obama, it was totally rampant. ISIS was all over the place. We took them out. We captured them. We killed them a hundred percent, not 99%. I wanted to get out at 99. Everyone said, “Oh, please, would you stay?” I stayed. 99% was good, but a hundred percent of the caliphate.

Jonathon Swan was trying to ask: “On election day, how many American troops will be in Afghanistan?”

Trump claimed that “we’re largely out of Afghanistan, as you probably know.” Swan then pointed out that there were 8,800 American troops in Afghanistan when Trump took office in 2016. The President then increased the number to 14,000. It is now down to 8,500 — a mere 300 troops fewer in four years.

4. Why should [cops] have identification?

A photograph of National Guard troops blocking access to the Lincoln Memorial.

Screenshot / Twitter

Swan then pressed Trump on the recent Portland protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. When Trump began to wander off on an Antifa-related rant, Swan specified: “I’m asking you about tactics and about the unmarked vans where they’re rounding people up.” Trump claimed identifiable police officers or federal agents could be targeted by “anarchists and agitators.” Protestors are detained without cause, and unmarked federal agents are patrolling outside of their territory. Trump responded:

President Trump: I think it’s a very good reason not to have your name. Why should you have identification?

The President still does not believe we need to hold the police or other law enforcement officers accountable.

5. [African Americans] were making more money than they ever made

A photograph of the Lincoln Memorial.

Good Free Photos

We’ve all heard about Trump’s outrageous claim that he has done “more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.” We can forget about Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act; Trump suggested this is a drop in the ocean compared to what he has done for Black Americans.

President Trump: Let me tell you with African Americans, I’m doing very well. They had the best employment numbers they’ve ever had. They had the best job numbers they’ve ever had. They were making more money than they ever made.

As the President admitted, any progress by way of employment, access to housing and increased wealth in the Black community, was halted by the pandemic. Academics and critics from several industries have also pointed out that Trump may have taken credit for Obama’s legacy. John P. Frendreis, a political scientist from Loyola University Chicago, explained:  “As with the economy generally, Trump likes to take credit for the long economic expansion, even though it is a continuation of an expansion that comprised nearly the entirety of Barack Obama’s tenure — June 2009 through January 2017.”

The reality is that Trump’s botched handling of the pandemic killed the economy and undid any gains for African Americans since Trump was elected. So here’s his pitch to Black voters, in short: You were doing really well before I destroyed the great Obama economy.

Watch it here:

Every American citizen and free-thinker needs to watch the full Axios interview.

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