The pressure and stress of the House’s impeachment inquiry and ongoing questions about his conversations with the Ukrainian president seem to be getting to President Donald Trump. Otherwise, it’s hard to explain his angry and raw press conference alongside the president of Finland on Wednesday.

I went through the transcript and highlighted the lines you need to see. They’re below.

1. “Look at all the press that you attract, can you believe this? That’s very impressive.”

Yes, this is the first thing that Trump said to the Finnish president when they entered the news conference. Tell me again how Trump doesn’t like the media… And away we go!

2. “And this is Ambassador Pence. No relationship to our great vice president. Hard to believe. Nobody believes that, but that’s true.”

Two people with the same last name who aren’t related. Will the wonders never cease???

3. “This is a hoax. This is the greatest hoax.”

You might think the Ukraine investigation is just a very good hoax. You’d be wrong. It’s the greatest hoax!

4. “But we’ll work together with Shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them, and we’ll see what happens.”

Trump is referring here to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the Speaker of the House — in front of a foreign leader. Very cool and very respectful!

5. “I had a great call with the president of Ukraine. It was 100%. You have the transcript.”

When people ask me how my day went, I am going to start responding “it was 100%.” Also, what the White House released of Trump’s call with Volodymyr Zelensky wasn’t a transcript. In fact, the rough transcript contained this note: “A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion.” Good times.

6. “And then Schiff went up and he got — as the chairman of the committee, got up and related a call that didn’t take place. He made up the language.”

He did not. In Schiff’s opening statement, he paraphrased the Ukraine transcript. Before he did so, Schiff said this: “In not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicated” before he starts talking. Trump can repeat this claim as often as he wants, but it doesn’t make it true.

7. “I think he had some kind of a mental breakdown. But he went up to the microphone and he read a statement from the President of the United States as if I were on the call.”

To be clear: Trump is accusing Schiff of having a “mental breakdown” because of what the California Democrat said in his opening statement at the testimony of acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. A statement that Schiff made very clear was not intended to be a verbatim recounting of what Trump said.

8. “What happened is when he looked at the sheet, which was an exact transcript of my call done by very talented people that do this — exact, word for word, he said, ‘Wow, he didn’t do anything wrong.’ So he made it up.”

“A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion.”

9. “He went up to a microphone, and in front of the American people and in Congress, he went out and he — he gave a whole presentation of words that the President of the United States never said. It has to be a criminal act, it has to be.”

What law would this be breaking? Also, Schiff did not say or pretend that Trump had said the exact words in his opening statement that day. Again, quoting Schiff: “In not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicated.” I feel like I’m on crazy pills here.

[Quick interlude: The Finnish president has simply been standing at his podium doing nothing during this extended Trump rant.]

10. “And he should resign, and some people even say it was treason.”

Who are these “some people”? And why would paraphrasing the President be treasonous? Reminder, that treason is “the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.” Which, uh, doesn’t feel like what Schiff is or was doing.

11. “The call was perfect, the real call, the call I made.”

I once made a perfect call myself. October 11, 1989. Nailed the hello, the small talk and the goodbye. 10 out of 10. Everyone said it.

12. “But when I speak on the phone, I know that we have many people listening from various intelligence agencies. My knowledge, I know all about it.”

“My knowledge, I know all about it.” — The President of the United States

13. “And if you look at this whistleblower’s — which I have a lot of respect, for whistleblowers, but only when they’re real — his report of the phone call was totally different than the fact.”

So, real whistleblowers are better than fake whistleblowers. That makes sense! But also, everything we know about the Ukraine call jibes with the whistleblower complaint. I am not sure, then, what Trump is talking about.

14. “Because the whistleblower report, didn’t he say seven or eight times, I said, quid pro quo? In other words, you’re going to do this or you’re not going to get money.”

[narrator voice]: The whistleblower complaint doesn’t contain the words “quid pro quo.” Not one time.

15. “Obama, when he was dealing with the president of Russia — not Putin — he said, hey, tell Vladimir, I can do a lot more after the election. You remember that? You didn’t make a big deal out of that, everybody thought, oh, isn’t that cute, isn’t that cute.”

This did happen. In March 2012, Obama was caught telling then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev this on an open mic: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Know how I know that? Because it got a huge amount of press attention at the time. And, as far as I can tell, no media source described it as “cute.”

16. “To impeach a president over a fraud that was committed by other people that want to win an election in 2020, which they won’t, is incredible.”

The logic here is truly, truly impressive. In a does-he-really-believe-any-of-this sort of way.

17. “We had the Mueller collusion delusion, OK? That went on for years. And that’s finally done, no collusion, no obstruction, no nothing.”

“(I)f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. … Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” — Mueller Report

18. “It was about a beautiful conversation that I had”

He sure does love the word “beautiful.”

19. “Ask one of the Finnish president.”

The president of the United States telling a reporter how to do his job. Sure! Normal!

20. “He knew long before and he helped write it, too. It’s a scam — it’s a scam.”

Trump was reacting to a report in The New York Times that the whistleblower had conveyed their concerns about the Ukraine call to a congressional staffer, who then filled Schiff in on it. There is no evidence Schiff has anything to do with writing the complaint and, in fact, his office has said he had nothing to do with it.

21. “The Mueller deal was a scam. The Russian collusion was a scam.”

The stats of the Mueller probe: 37 people charged; 7 people pleaded guilty; one convicted in a trial; five sentenced to jail time. Oh, and the unquestioned conclusion that the Russians ran an active and broad campaign to interfere in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton because they believed Trump to be better for their interests.

22. “You can ask Putin, nobody’s been rougher on Russia than Donald Trump, OK?”

Well, it makes sense we can expect Putin to be totally honest, so yeah this makes sense. Let me just shoot him a Slack and see what he says…

23. “I think they’re all nice in Finland.”

Finland didn’t even crack the top 25 in this survey of nicest countries in the world. Snub!

24. “I have done more and this administration has done more than any administration in the history of this country in the first two-and-a-half years.”

[pulls out calculator, does series of complex mathematical equations]

25. “Rush Limbaugh said, I don’t know of any man in America that could handle it. Sean Hannity said the same thing. Others have said the same thing, I don’t know any man in America. Because it’s all a fraud.”

Limbaugh and Hannity think Trump is working so hard and is very much wrongly maligned! Cue up the “breaking news” banners!

26. “I know that I’m right and because I’m doing a great job for the American people, I’m very, very happy living the way I’m living.”


27. “I thought that I would finish off the first term without the threat of people making false claims, but this one turned out to be incredible.”

President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days

28. “All because they didn’t know that I had a transcript done by very, very talented people, word for word, comma for comma, done by people that do it for a living. I — we had an exact transcript.”

“A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion.”

29. “Because you look at the whistleblower statement and it’s vicious, vicious, and that whistleblower, there’s no question in my mind that some bad things have gone on, and I think we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

Classic Trump. Lots of accusations with zero actual evidence of anything. What “bad things have gone on”? Stay tuned until the next episode!

30. “He took that perfect conversation I had with the Ukrainian president, and he made it into a total lie. It was a total fabrication. And you do admit that, it was a total fabrication.”

“In not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicated.” — Adam Schiff

31. “You know, I — believe it or not, I watch my words very carefully.”

I don’t believe it.

32. There are those that think I am a very stable genius, OK?”

Yes, geniuses always tell you they are geniuses. And stable people always tell you how stable they are. Sure!

33. “And to have somebody get up and to totally fabricate a conversation that I had with another leader, and make it sound so bad, it was so evil.”

“In not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicated.” — Adam Schiff

34. ‘We’ve been investigating corruption because I probably will — I was going to definitely, but I probably will be bringing a lot of litigation against a lot of people, having to do with the corrupt investigation, having to do with the 2016 election.”

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.” — Donald Trump, in October 2016, in response to a number of women who alleged he had sexually harassed them over the years. And, oh yeah, he didn’t sue any of them.

35. “And you had 18 people that hated Donald Trump, and you had Bob Mueller that hated Donald Trump.”

Mueller was a registered Republican. And there is zero evidence he “hated” Trump.

36. “Nancy Pelosi hands out subpoenas like — you know, she had to approve it — she hands out subpoenas like they’re cookies. You want a subpoena? Here you go, take them. Like they’re cookies.”

You get a car! And you get a car!

37. “Look, Biden and his son are stone-cold crooked, and you know it. His son walks out with millions of dollars. The kid knows nothing. You know it, and so do we.”

Important: There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe Biden or his son, Hunter, in Ukraine. None.

38. “We have the president of Finland. Ask him a question.”

Trump is, again, trying to tell a reporter how to do his job. And in this instance, it’s because he can’t answer the simple question that Reuters’ Jeff Mason keeps asking: “What do you or what did you want President Zelensky to do with regard to Joe and Hunter Biden?”

39. “Much of the media in this country is not just fake; it’s corrupt. And you have some very fine people, too. Great journalists, great reporters. But to a large extent it’s corrupt, and it’s fake.”

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” — Donald Trump, 2015

40. “Ask the president of Finland a question, please.”

Totally normal stuff! Nothing to see here out of the ordinary!

41. “You never had wins with other presidents, did you? But we’re having a lot of wins at the WTO since I became president.”

Oh yeah. Normal stuff!

42. “We are a great — the United States is a great democracy, and I’m airing what I’m airing because we are, in fact, a democracy.”

So, all of this has been in support of the US being great? It all makes so much sense now!

43. “We would be a far greater when we don’t have the CNNs of the world, who are corrupt people.”

The idea that “we” would be better off without a free and independent media is incredibly misguided and wrong. Which, given the nature of Trump’s press conference, makes this line a good place to end.

President Donald Trump listens to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto speak during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, October 2, 2019, in Washington. Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press
President Donald Trump listens to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto speak during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, October 2, 2019, in Washington. Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

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