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Trump 33: Making Norman Bates Look Like a Choir Boy


Destiny

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Again, I have nothing pithy to say, just a bunch of fuck that guy. 

Continued from here:

 

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Ever since the election, I've tried to keep the tangerine toddler at arm's length in terms of how much space I let him take up in my head.  That changed in the last two weeks or so after I became painfully aware of his baby-snatching at the border.   These days, even kitty pics can't calm me down.   It's like I've been hit with a tsunami of outrage and washed far out to sea.  I really don't want to give a malevolent, narcissistic MF that kind of power over my mental and emotional focus.   I've always been able to use humor as a coping mechanism, but as Trae Crowder said, there's nothing funny about putting kids in cages. When I retreat to the  pages of FJ, I feel buoyed up by the wit and compassion.  Thank you, FJ, for being here.

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"‘A blowtorch to the tinder’: Stoking racial tensions is a feature of Trump’s presidency"

Spoiler

President Trump this week likened Hispanic immigrants to vermin. He warned that they would “pour into and infest our country.” And he defended his administration’s family separation policy by alleging that parents crossing the southern border with their children were poised to commit crime and murder.

For him, this language is not new.

Echoing the words and images of the white nationalist movement to dehumanize immigrants and inflame racial tensions has become a defining feature of Donald Trump’s presidency and of the Republican Party’s brand.

Trump has stirred supporters at rallies by reading “The Snake,” a parable about a tenderhearted woman who takes in an ailing snake but is later killed when the revived creature bites her. It should be heard as a metaphor for immigration, he says.

The president referred to some African nations as “shithole countries.” He posited that “both sides” were to blame for last summer’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. And, again and again, he has accused black football players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest police discrimination of being un-American.

Among the many ways in which Trump stands out in the lineup of modern American presidents is his aversion to using his bully pulpit to unify the diverse nation he was elected to lead. Rather, he stokes cultural divisions and cultivates tribalism under the banner of his slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“He takes a blowtorch to the tinder,” said Peter Wehner, a Trump critic who worked in the previous three Republican administrations and is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“For Trump and for his presidency, the culture war is central and defining — and it’s a culture war of a particular kind,” Wehner added. “It’s not the traditional culture war of gay rights and abortion. It’s a culture war that manifests itself in race and ethnicity and nationality. That is his go-to theme.”

Throughout his public life, Trump has pitted one group of Americans against another and inserted himself in racial controversies. In 1989, as a celebrity real estate developer, he took out advertisements in New York’s newspapers calling for the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white female jogger in Central Park. More recently, Trump perpetuated for five years the lie that Barack Obama was born outside the United States to delegitimize his presidency.

As he leads his party into the potentially perilous midterm election five months from now, Trump is trying to make cultural identity a central theme of the Republican pitch to voters. His messages have been amplified by his surrogates as well as by friendly broadcasters on Fox News Channel and elsewhere in the conservative media.

Trump is calculating that by playing to people’s fears and anxieties he can maximize turnout among hard-core supporters to counterbalance evident enthusiasm on the Democratic side. Fueling Trump’s approach, advisers say, is an unremitting fear of his own: that his base could abandon him if he is deemed too weak on immigration, which was a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.

Trump’s defenders flatly reject the suggestion that he is intentionally exacerbating the nation’s cultural differences.

“Those who focus on culture and race as the perceived center of POTUS policies are either ignoring or ignorant of the root causes of the problems,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said in a text message.

Pierson, one of the few African Americans who works for Trump, said the president’s policies are “centered around law and order and prioritizing American families.” To conclude otherwise, she said, would be exhibiting “bias.”

“I think people are conditioned to see what they want (or are being told) to see in everything that he does, not what he is actually doing,” Pierson said.

Trump has said he recoils from the images, sounds and stories beaming in this week from the border. “I don’t want children taken away from parents,” he said in a speech Tuesday. Yet he otherwise was initially defiant in the face of the growing public outcry, only capitulating Wednesday after the objections had reached a fever pitch. Even then, he suggested to reporters that it was a difficult call to retreat on his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

“If you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country’s going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. That’s a tough dilemma,” Trump said. “Perhaps I’d rather be strong. But that’s a tough dilemma.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the party’s most hard-line voices on immigration, argued that Trump should be focusing more on culture in devising and articulating his policies.

“I don’t hear this president speaking much about race, [but] for me, there are cultural distinctions that matter,” King said. “Whenever you import large numbers of people from singular cultures, you import the culture, too. That’s why a movement towards assimilation in the broader American civilization is so important. That’s been pushed on the back burner and it should be on the front burner.”

GOP congressional leaders are plainly uncomfortable. Some of the most vulnerable House Republicans are running for reelection in swing districts where suburban voters who recoil from divisive rhetoric and policies could prove decisive.

By and large, however, they have not challenged Trump’s approach. Republicans who publicly object risk losing primary elections, being ostracized or mocked by the president. Or they find safe harbor elsewhere, as strategist Steve Schmidt, who helmed George W. Bush and John McCain’s presidential campaigns, did in announcing Wednesday that he was renouncing his membership in the Republican Party.

Before Trump’s retreat Wednesday, his advisers and allies said that the news media are covering the border situation hysterically and that there would not be long-term consequences for the president or the party.

“On a near-daily basis during the campaign, Republican operatives would spend their time freaking out about the controversy of the day,” said Andy Surabian, a former Trump campaign and White House official. “If you listened to them, you would have thought the sky was perpetually falling. The lesson of the campaign is that in Trump’s Washington, things move so fast that no single story will ever define the president, the administration or the party as a whole.”

New polls this week have shown a stark divide over the administration’s family separation policy. A Quinnipiac University poll found that American voters overall oppose the policy, 66 percent to 27 percent, mirroring other surveys.

Quinnipiac found that Republican voters support the separation policy, 55 percent to 35 percent, and that the demographic group with the deepest support is whites without college degrees.

Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster, said that in focus groups he conducted this week in Pittsburgh, many voters expressed “a sense of violation” and that women, in particular, feel empathy for the families being separated.

“This is a very unsettling time for the American voter,” Hart said. “People are unnerved, unsettled and unhappy.”

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who has long advocated that his party adopt a more inclusive posture to appeal to the nation’s diversifying electorate, warned that Trump’s strategy is risky.

“In a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” he said, “it helps to have a majority of the people behind what you’re trying to do.”

 

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Hell, fuck face makes Pol Pot, Stalin, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy look like choir boys.

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"President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that aren’t true"

Spoiler

He’s done it on Twitter. He’s done it in the White House driveway. And he’s done it in a speech to a business group.

President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency. 

 Since Saturday, Trump has tweeted false or misleading information at least seven times on the topic of immigration and at least six times on a Justice Department inspector general report into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That’s more than a dozen obfuscations on just two central topics — a figure that does not include falsehoods on other issues, whether in tweets or public remarks. 

The false claims come as the president — emboldened by fewer disciplinarians inside the West Wing — indulges in frequent Twitter screeds. A Washington Post analysis found that in June, Trump has been tweeting at the fastest rate of his presidency so far, an average of 11.3 messages per day. 

Inside the White House, aides and advisers say they believe the media is unwilling to give Trump a fair shot and is knee-jerk ready to accuse him of lying, even in cases where the facts support his point.

The president often seeks to paint a self-serving and self-affirming alternate reality for himself and his supporters. Disparaging the “fake news” media, Trump offers his own filter through which to view the world — offering a competing reality on issues including relationships forged (or broken) at the Group of Seven summit in Canada, the success of the Singapore summit with the North Koreans, and his administration’s  “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration. 

“It’s extraordinary how he is completely indifferent to truth. There’s just no relationship between his statements — anything he utters — and the actual truth of the matter,” said Thomas Murray, president emeritus of the Hastings Center, the founding institution in the field of bioethics. “As far as I can tell, the best way to understand anything he says is what will best serve his interests in the moment. It’s irrespective to any version of the truth.”

According to an analysis by The Post’s Fact Checker through the end of May, Trump had made 3,251 false or misleading claims in 497 days — an average of 6.5 such claims per day of his presidency. 

And within the past week, Trump seems to have ramped up both the volume and the intensity of his false statements on two of the most prominent topics currently facing his administration: the hard-line immigration policy that has led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents — which Trump erroneously blames on others — and the 500-page inspector general report that he claims, incorrectly, exonerates him in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Bella DePaulo, a psychology researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said Trump’s use of repetition is a particularly effective technique for convincing his supporters of the veracity of his false claims, in part because most people have a “truth bias,” or an initial inclination to accept what others say as true.

“When liars repeat the same lie over and over again, they can get even more of an advantage, at least among those who want to believe them or are not all that motivated either way,” DePaulo said in an email. “So when people hear the same lies over and over again — especially when they want to believe those lies — a kind of new reality can be created. What they’ve heard starts to seem like it’s just obvious, and not something that needs to be questioned.” 

On immigration, Trump and many top administration officials have said that existing U.S. laws and court rulings have given them no choice but to separate families trying to cross illegally into the United States. But it is the administration’s decision, announced in April, to prosecute all southern border crossings that has led to the separation of families. 

That hasn’t stopped the president from blaming Democrats for his administration’s decisions. “Democrats are the problem,” Trump wrote in one tweet. In another, he was even more blunt: “The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” he wrote.

While Congress could pass a legislative fix, Republicans control both the House and the Senate — making it disingenuous at best to finger the opposing party, as the president has repeatedly done.

Speaking to the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday, Trump again falsely painted the humanitarian crisis as a binary choice. “We can either release all illegal immigrant families and minors who show up at the border from Central America, or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry,” he said. “Those are the only two options.”

On Twitter, the president twice in the past four days has singled out Germany as facing an increase in crime. “Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted,” Trump wrote. “Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!”

In fact, the opposite is true. Reported crime in Germany was actually down by 10 percent last year and, according to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the country’s reported crime rate last year was actually at its lowest point in three decades. 

The president has also falsely claimed that the inspector general report “exonerated” him from Mueller’s probe, when the report did not delve into the Russia investigation. When he made this argument Friday during an impromptu press gaggle in the White House driveway, a reporter pressed him on the falsehood.

“Sir, that has nothing to do with collusion,” the reporter said. “Why are you lying about it, sir?”

Trump’s messaging on the family separation issue has faced pushback even from members of his own party, who have publicly and privately urged him to fix the problem. And the discordant noise from members of his administration, who are contradicting him and one another, has further eroded his credibility on the issue. 

On a conference call Tuesday morning, for instance, a senior Health and Human Services official said the new policy was focused on deterrence and was working — contradicting the public comments of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has publicly said that family separation is not a policy, is not new and is not about deterrence. 

Brian Fallon, a press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, said he thinks the past week may mark an “inflection point” in how both the media and the public treat Trump’s mistruths. 

“The lies have been so bald and discernibly false, I think people have felt license to challenge him and use the word ‘lie’ more freely than they have in the past,” Fallon said. 

The topic of family separation, Fallon added, is especially stark. 

“I think the sort of visceral nature of this particular issue, in terms of the sympathy that these young kids have evoked, has caused a splintering within his own party,” Fallon said. “Once you have a critical mass of defections among your own side, at that point, it becomes unsustainable even for somebody who has patented this approach to lying like Trump has.”

 

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What a fucking douche

Quote

During his controversial meeting with leaders of the G-7 less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump allegedly threw two pieces of Starburst candies on the table in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying “Here, Angela. Don’t say I never give you anything.”

The exchange, described on CBS News by Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer, sheds further light on the tense atmosphere depicted in the now famous photograph of the meeting, in which Trump appears with his arms crossed and a defiant scowl across his face.

Yeah, said it before.  Will say it again.  As far as any rando on the street is concerned next winter when I go overseas I'm Canadian. 

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I adore Ted Lieu:

 

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11 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

Spankathon lied about his crowd size again

I see a lot of empty seats, but who knows when the rally actually started.  I can't imagine they packed it to the rafters.  On another random note, I've watched roller derby in that auditorium.  It's a much better use of that facility!

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It is the big mystery (to me) of this presidency that Mueller, Rosenstein and Sessions are still in place. It's one of the few instances, or perhaps the only instance, where there is something or someone somehow constraining Trump from acting on his base impulses.  We know he can act because he fired Comey "because of the Russia thing."

This is THE biggest thorn in Trump's side and one where his usual tactics (bluffing, ragetweeting, more ragetweets, chest beating, throwing red meat to the base,  ego fluffing rallies, more threats, more tweeting, lying, more threats, more ragetweets, insulting the press, more lying, additional chest beating, etc.) have had zero effect.  Zero. 

The Trump auxiliary cadres at Faux, Unhinged Fluffer Giuliani,  assorted Republican bootlickers/lickspittles/buttsniffers et al. relentlessly piss and moan, scream, threaten, tear at their clothes and ragetweet daily about the witch hunt and still--nothing.  Mueller and his army of fact finders quietly put their heads down daily, continuing their unwavering pursuit of the truth. 

*dusts off tinfoil hat, adjust antenna*  Something has been strategically conveyed to the WH clearly saying that such an action will trigger a Doomsday scenario, maybe a tsunami of indictments at the state and Federal level (particularly targeted at Javanka and the Fredos), maybe a strategic revelation of incredibly damaging information, should a move be made to remove Mueller/Rosenstein/ Sessions.  I just can't make sense of it otherwise.   Any other ideas?

WHOA! This just in, via brain implant transmission to fillings in my teeth: There's something stewing in the background about leaks to Unhinged Fluffer Giuliani, the SDNY AG's office and the upper echelon of the NY FBI. 

Fact: references to Hillary-hating upper echelon/senior FBI agents in the NY office are buried in and completely ignored in the IG's report.  

(Of course, there is a REAL but suppressed and unpublished IG report, which is a TOTAL indictment of Killary and Obummer.  QAnon or any of the Breitbart Gentry will gladly provide the beta.) 

Someday, but not today, I'll share my alien abduction story.  Was there an anal probe?  Stay tuned. :562479514c500_32(1):

 

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17 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

 

He thinks immigrants infest our country, yet two of his wives are immigrants.  :hello:

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Ironic, isn't it?  But you're forgetting the important distinction -- both his ex and the current missus are white European immigrants, not the awful brown kind. 

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Four of his five kids are anchor babies  yet Fox Ooze and all the sycophants never seem to bring that up. But then cognitive dissonance is a requirement for his people. 

I’m thinking the Whiteness of the wives and them being “models” is behind that. 

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Hell, at least Norman Bates loved his mother (sort of...).

And yeah, he loves white immigrants. Didn't he put out a call for more Norwegians or something in the early days?

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3 hours ago, Howl said:

*dusts off tinfoil hat, adjust antenna*  Something has been strategically conveyed to the WH clearly saying that such an action will trigger a Doomsday scenario, maybe a tsunami of indictments at the state and Federal level (particularly targeted at Javanka and the Fredos), maybe a strategic revelation of incredibly damaging information, should a move be made to remove Mueller/Rosenstein/ Sessions.  I just can't make sense of it otherwise.   Any other ideas?

I have one. Sort of. I think that the presidunce got scared out of his wits at the backlash of the Comey firing. He thought he would get praise, especially from the Dems, because of the Killary butter emails and the fact that she lost the election because of Comey. Nothing of the sort happened. Quite the opposite, because almost immediately there were accusations of obstruction of justice and suddenly this Mueller fellow was appointed to investigate him. He never saw that coming, and now he's too afraid to fire Mueller or his boss Rosenstein, because who the hell knows what would happen then? 

So there is only one thing he can do, and what he has been continuously doing from the very start: discredit the investigation, discredit the FBI, discredit Mueller, Rosenstein, and Sessions at every turn, do some strutting and posturing and bluffing, and cry wol--- eh witch hunt all the time. 

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And by the way, the one-person circular firing squad that is D. Trump  reversed himself today, Thursday.  He's now saying that currently separated parents and children will be united. 

We're how far into this administration and finally, FINALLY,  there is such a staggering amount of blow-back that he's reversed himself.  This, FINALLY, is the watershed moment, or at least I hope so. 

Melania was shanghaied, for heck's sake, and taken to the border.  Or maybe Melania insisted on going because she is so viscerally appalled at what her husband has wrought.  #BeBest, Melania, in both the ironic and un-ironic meanings. 

And phuque, just PHUQUE all the white Evangelicals who are remaining silent and complicit in the face of this.  All those talking points you were using lies you were mindlessly repeating?  Trump has, by his actions of the last two days, made you look like total fools and the complicit idiots you are. 

*Fans self, catches breath, fingers are sooooo tired*

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16 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

Nazi rally at the White House:

 

Will Trump be the guest speaker on the jumbo tron?

 

ETA: Quote from the TPM article: 

"The city of Charlottesville denied Kessler’s application to hold an anniversary rally there. Kessler estimates 400 people will join him in Washington".

Four hundred is all they could muster up? Either they deliberately low balled the number to get the D.C. cops  and counter protested off guard, or Trump's campaign rally, pep rally Klan rally numbers are shrinking.

 

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"Can we still talk about Donald Trump acting like a toddler?"

Spoiler

Since April 2017, I have been curating a#ToddlerinChief thread on Twitter. At last count I am up to 370 separate instances of close allies of the president treating him or talking about him like a toddler.

There has been the occasional objection to this project. Back in the fall, The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen argued that it was more accurate to think of Donald Trump as a teenager. My response to that was, in essence, reasonable people can disagree.

This past week, as the horror of Trump’s family separation policy at the border became clear, a somewhat different objection arose.  According to the Chicago Tribune’s Heidi Stevens, “Comparing Trump to a toddler was simple and understandable at first,” but now it is “no longer tenable.”

Why?

You know who else behaves the way Drezner (and plenty of others) describes? Angry, entitled adults. And they don’t have the excuse of barely developed prefrontal cortices. Or the inability to meet their own needs. Or a lack of social interactions from which to draw upon for cues and learning.

Trump is not learning as he goes, forming millions upon millions of synapses in his brain, collecting lessons from each and every interaction, asking why, why, why, loving wide-eyed and openhearted.

He is who he is. He will remain that way, most likely, as long as he inhabits the White House. His legacy will include, among other things, the implementation of an immigration policy that goes against every human instinct we are born with.

That’s not childish. It’s heartless.

Laura Rozen also objected on Twitter to an addition to the #ToddlerinChief thread in which I quoted a Washington Post story on the latest immigration imbroglio, highlighting this detail:

The images in the media contrast with more positive photos that Trump’s aides have shown the president depicting detained children smiling, playing video games and exercising outside, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

Rozen tweeted in response:

So, in essence, this criticism of the toddler thread is that as Donald Trump has evolved from ignorance to malevolence, the toddler analogy somehow strips him of his culpability.

I appreciate the objections. The danger with analogies in political analysis is well-founded. That said, the thread ain’t going anywhere.

The purpose of the toddler analogy is not to explain every single thing that Trump does. Clearly, there are aspects of his behavior — his misogyny, his casual racism — that are not toddler-like. If I had tried to shoehorn those elements into the thread, I would understand the objection.

There are other areas of Trump’s behavior that could be thought of as toddler-like in one way but not another. How, exactly, should one categorize this anecdote from Ian Bremmer?

President Trump reportedly tossed Starburst candies to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his tense meeting with Group of Seven (G-7) leaders weeks ago, Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer said Wednesday….

“Trump was sitting there with his arms crossed, clearly not liking the fact that they were ganging up on him,” Bremmer said to the news outlet. “He eventually agreed and said OK, he’ll sign it. And at that point, he stood up, put his hand in his pocket, his suit jacket pocket, and he took two Starburst candies out, threw them on the table and said to Merkel, ‘Here, Angela. Don’t say I never give you anything.’”

Or this?

In both of these cases, Trump sounds as petulant a toddler, but he also seems like a moody teenager who resents everyone( also, in my experience, toddlers do not give their candy to others).

The truth, however, is that there remain aspects of Trump’s behavior for which the toddler analogy remains apt. The quote from the Washington Post story that triggered Rozen shows how easy it is for staffers to slant his information diet to make him less cranky. In the past months, there have been plenty of other examples demonstrating how Trump’s intellectual immaturity, ranging from his impatience to his short temper to his desire for free time to the simplistic ways NSC staffers had to brief him.

There is no way to read this story by Politico’s Annie Karni without thinking about Trump like a toddler:

Under the Presidential Records Act, the White House must preserve all memos, letters, emails and papers that the president touches, sending them to the National Archives for safekeeping as historical records.

But White House aides realized early on that they were unable to stop Trump from ripping up paper after he was done with it and throwing it in the trash or on the floor, according to people familiar with the practice. Instead, they chose to clean it up for him, in order to make sure that the president wasn’t violating the law.

Staffers had the fragments of paper collected from the Oval Office as well as the private residence and send it over to records management across the street from the White House for Lartey and his colleagues to reassemble.

I mean, come on.

Does analogizing Trump to a toddler strip him of his moral agency? Only if one thinks the analogy is literal, and I have not seen any indication that anyone is taking it literally. None of the #ToddlerinChief tweets say that Tump is a toddler; they say that Trump is like a toddler. This analogy works when Trump seems ignorant and petty and ill-tempered and immature. But it obviously does not explain his cruelty on immigration or other issues.

I trust my readers to understand this distinction. That’s because they are far more mature than Donald Trump.

 

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Aw, the tangerine snowflake's feefees were hurt: "Trump airs his grievances and demands more credit — for just about everything"

Spoiler

DULUTH, Minn. — President Trump feels wronged.

Standing at center stage in a hockey arena here, delivering a rollicking speech that harked back to the glory days of his 2016 campaign, Trump was simmering with frustration.

Trump said he felt wronged that he was not given more credit for his historic meeting last week in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Wronged that his administration’s move to separate migrant children from their parents at the border garnered round-the-clock news coverage.

Wronged that the media is not instead focused on this week’s congressional hearings over a Department of Justice inspector general report, and wronged that the report backed up the FBI’s decision not to charge Hillary Clinton with crimes.

Wronged that he has to share some of the credit for the good economy with his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

Wronged that the media does not focus enough attention on the size of his crowds.

Wronged that a handful of protesters interrupted his rally speech.

And wronged that, after defying the predictions of political experts to become elected president as a populist hero, he still is not considered part of the nation’s elite.

“You ever notice they always call the other side ‘the elite’?” Trump asked. “The elite! Why are they elite? I have a much better apartment than they do. I’m smarter than they are. I’m richer than they are. I became president and they didn’t.”

Trump’s electric connection with his supporters is powered in part by his propensity to speak his mind, and he did not disappoint on Wednesday night. The president veered from his prepared script repeatedly to air his grievances before a capacity crowd of 9,000.

Many of Trump’s frustrations were about the way he is covered by the media — “those very dishonest people,” as he put it, gesturing toward the press riser and eliciting loud boos and chants of “CNN sucks!” from the crowd.

“I just got back, as you know, from Singapore, where I met Kim Jong Un, and we had a great meeting, great chemistry. We got along very well,” Trump said. “At first, everybody was amazed — amazed! — that we had the meeting. They couldn’t believe it.”

Then, as Trump told it, the ­media turned on him. “They said, ‘The president gave away so much!’ ”

“I got along with Kim Jong Un — and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said. “The fact that we do get along means we’re safe. I’m not saying things can’t happen. Things go wrong. Mistakes are made. Relationships get broken. But right now, you are so safe, and such a great event took place.”

Trump accused the media of focusing on family separations and the detention of children at the border to distract the public from congressional inquiries into a Justice Department watchdog report. The report backed up the FBI’s decision not to bring charges against Clinton after its investigation of her use of private emails as secretary of state.

“Have you been seeing this whole scam?” Trump asked. “No matter how many crimes she committed, which were numerous, they wanted her to be innocent.”

“How guilty is she?” Trump asked.

The crowd replied with chants of “Lock her up!”

For those who have closely followed Trump for years, the night was filled with many moments of deja vu, when it felt as though it suddenly was 2016 all over again.

He lashed out at the media several times, prompting his fans to boo the reporters in their midst, and demanded to know why television news networks don’t pan his crowd, showing its mass and might. He mocked the protesters who dared to interrupt him.

When one young man was escorted out by authorities, Trump yelled, “Going home to his mom.” A few minutes later, when another man with long, straggly hair was led out of the arena, the president asked, gleefully, “Is that a man or a woman? I couldn’t tell. Needs a haircut.”

There were chants of the president’s name, along with “Build that wall!” and “Lock her up!” and “USA! USA! USA!” and “Drain the swamp!” When the president vaguely alluded to the Senate’s unexpected vote against repealing and replacing Obamacare, a man in the stands bellowed, “John McCain!” and a woman shouted, “Coward!” One of the president’s loudest applause lines came after he mentioned reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs and bragged that federal officials can now tell underperforming medical center employees: “You’re fired!”

And at one point, the president asked — as he often used to — if there is “anything more fun than a Trump rally.”

The crowd signaled there was not. Some people pumped their fists into the air, while others whistled, whooped and screamed out: “Thank you!” and “We love you, Trump!”

But there were some new additions to the old lineup, reminders that the year is 2018, not 2016.

The stage was decorated with signs proclaiming, “Promises made. Promises kept.” Before the rally, the crowd was entertained by newscast-style video clips featuring the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who interviewed the manufacturer of the campaign’s signature hats and small-business owners that have benefited from the Republican-pushed tax cuts.

Early on, Trump invited congressional leaders onto the stage and gave the microphone to Pete Stauber, a GOP candidate in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, which is held by a Democrat and is a top target for Republicans hoping to gain seats in the House.

Trump ticked through his accomplishments in office, including job growth and steel tariffs, which could be a boost in Duluth, which is home to the state’s Iron Range and has been buffeted by global economic trends in the steel and other manufacturing industries.

He also talked about his plans for the future. When the president mentioned new investments in NASA, which he had announced Monday at the White House, the crowd chanted, “Space Force!”

“We had the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, the Coast Guard,” Trump said. “Now we’re going to have the Space Force. We need it!”

 

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I liked this tweet about Dumpy's tactics:

 

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