Trump gave an ‘impromptu’ interview to the NY Times. Did it grill him hard enough?

Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Donald Trump gave an “impromptu” interview to the New York Times on Thursday and it’s as incoherent and self-aggrandizing as you might expect. 

At the Grill Room at Trump’s golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, the president and Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt talk about the tax bill, Russia, Hillary Clinton and North Korea. 

A few key quotes: 

  • “I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most.”

  • “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”

  • “I like very much President Xi. He treated me better than anybody’s ever been treated in the history of China.”

You can read the New York Times story here, and the transcript of the interview here. 

Many people were confused and troubled by Trump’s comments, which is the appropriate reaction. But there was also back and forth on Twitter about how Schmidt interviewed Trump.

You can see him try to keep the president on topic, but not challenge him on facts — and there was a lot to challenge. Some were upset that Trump wasn’t grilled about his basic understanding of tax policy, health care, and that whole North Korea situation. 

Others defended the “just let him talk” tactic, arguing Trump could have shut the interview down or walked away if he felt threatened. 

Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star argued it’s not so black and white — but the media should be a little tougher when it comes to not letting Trump say things that are obviously not true. 

Regardless, the interview is worth a read, if only to be reminded and terrified of how little Trump seems to understand policies that will affect more than 300 million Americans, and people across the globe. 

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