Attention–that’s what Donald Trump needs more than anything else. The more others take the media from Trump, the harder he works to get it back. Right now Trump is trying to be more outrageous after Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bounce put her at a two-thirds chance of winning, up from the under 50 percent before the conventions . Clinton’s smallest lead in any fully post-DNC national survey is now 5 percentage points, and Nate Silver reports that her national leads go from eight percent (CNN) to 15 points (RABA Research). Overall, polls average between five and eight points for Clinton. Her upward trajectory may have contributed to Trump’s meltdown during the past 24 hours.
Trump has now threatened to ban New York Times reporters from his appearances as he has done to over a dozen other news outlets. He also predicted that the paper will not be “in business more than two to three years.”
“No matter how good I do on something, they’ll never write good. I mean, they don’t write good. … They don’t know how to write good. And I guess if they did, they’re certainly not doing it.”
Trump also called CNN the “Clinton News Network” and claimed he won’t do any interviews with the network until it treats him fairly. Everyone should want an answer to the question that CNN’s Brian Stelter asked:
“Why is he talking about us, and not policy?”
Trump’s attacks on Khizr Khan continue when Trump insinuated that Khan, father of a soldier who died saving his men in the Iraq War, is a terrorist sympathizer because he was really “bothered” by Trump’s promise to stop radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country. Trump’s co-chair for veterans’ issues, New Hampshire Rep. Al Baldasaro, added that Khan is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood and tweeted an article claiming that Humayun Khan was a double agent “working for the US and Al-Qaeda… killed before his Islamist mission was accomplished.” The comment has been deleted from the right-wing fringe anti-Islam conspiracy website, but Khan stands by his claim about the father. At the GOP convention, Baldasaro had called for Hillary Clinton to be executed by a firing squad. The Trump campaign said that they “do not agree” with Baldasaro but is “incredibly grateful for his support.”
Trump’s spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, blamed President Obama and Hillary Clinton for Captain Khan’s death when she told Wolf Blitzer that the soldier died because the president and secretary of state changed the rules of engagement in Iraq. When Captain Kahn died on June 8, 2004, a year after George W. Bush started the war, Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois and Hillary Clinton was New York’s senator.
Trump’s putdown of Captain Humayun Khan’s family was followed by a media discussion of Trump’s five student deferments and a medical exemption because of bone spurs during the Vietnam War draft. Following that was Trump’s receiving a Purple Heart medal from a veteran who got it for being wounded while serving in the military. To an audience in Ashburn(VA), Trump announced, “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”
When Trump was in the lead, he was satisfied with the election process, but after his drop in the polls, he’s declaring that the election is rigged. His vicious surrogate Roger Stone has promised a “bloodbath” if Trump doesn’t win the election—the same promise that white supremacists made if Trump didn’t become the GOP candidate.
The solution to sexual harassment, according to the Word of Trump, is getting a new job. Fox network Kirsten asked Trump about an employer treating his daughter Ivanka in the same way that Roger Ailes treated his women employees. Trump responded that she should “find another career or find another company.” This statement follows his defense of his longtime friend Ailes and his questioning the motives of the 25 people who brought up the sexual harassment at Fox before Ailes was forced out last week. Republican consultant Katie Packer asked why a woman should have to walk away because of being sexually harassed.
Trump’s son Eric tried to defend his father’s position by explaining:
“Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman. She wouldn’t allow herself to be, you know, subjected to it.”
Gretchen Carlson, former Fox television host who filed the first sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes tweeted, “Sad in 2016 we’re still victim blaming women. Trust me I’m strong.”
In Ashburn, Trump shouted at two parents with crying babies and demanded that they be removed from the audience. He also said that he hoped for an economic collapse to come before he’s elected to protect himself.
“The numbers are getting worse and worse all the time. If they get real bad, I hope it happens fast, so I don’t have to — they’ll all blame me.”
Trump has a history of hoping for economic collapses. Ten years ago, he said he was hoping for a crash because “then people like me would go in and buy.” Two years after he said that, the housing market collapsed, causing millions of people to lose their homes in the United States and plunging the nation’s economy into a deep recession with millions of people unemployed.
Later today, Trump announced that he supported House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) challenger and attacked other incumbent nominees, including Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and John McCain (R-AZ).
The first U.S. GOP member of Congress has defected. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), elected during the 2010 Tea Party sweep, said he will vote for Hillary Clinton because Trump is “unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country.” He said he made the decision after watching Trump’s treatment of the Khan family. Hanna added, “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?” The congressman has the luxury of making this decision because he’s not running for re-election. Other GOP politicians, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), have spoken out against Trump’s statements but still have not withdrawn their support.
Just this one day, and Donald Trump kicked babies out of his rally, got an “easy” Purple Heart, opposed elections for individual GOP leaders, hoped for an immediate economic collapse, victimized women who were sexually harassed, threatened journalists, cried about rigged elections, and again attacked the family of a heroic soldier who died in the Iraq War.
And there was more. He praised his golf course for its “tremendous acreage” and Vladimir Putin, claimed that the Islamic State “stole our passport machine,” threw out silent audience members who wore T-shirts with “Black Lives Matter,” and described Hillary Clinton as a “thief,” a “crook,” and the “Devil.”
It’s all in a day’s work for the demagogue.
During a press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Obama asked the Republican party:
“If you are repeatedly having to say what Trump says is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?”
That’s after the president called Trump “unfit” and “woefully unprepared.” A growing number of people in the nation agree with the president.
Both conservative and liberal columnists are increasingly asking if Donald Trump is insane.
Eugene Robinson: “At this point, it would be irresponsible to ignore the fact that Trump’s grasp on reality appears to be tenuous at best.”
Senior fellow at the Brookings Institute Robert Kagan: “One wonders if Republican leaders have begun to realize that they may have hitched their fate and the fate of their party to a man with a disordered personality.”
Vox founder Ezra Klein: “Have we stopped to appreciate how crazy Donald Trump has gotten recently?”
Conservative Weekly Standard writer Steven Hayes: “Yes, Donald Trump is crazy. And, yes, the Republican party owns his insanity.”
Conservative columnist David Brooks: “I almost don’t blame Trump. He is a morally untethered, spiritually vacuous man who appears haunted by multiple personality disorders. It is the ‘sane’ and ‘reasonable’ Republicans who deserve the shame.”
Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio disagrees. He claims that Trump “sees the world as a constant struggle for victory and lacks a moral compass.” That might be worse than insanity.