Still Not Normal: Why Trump’s Presser Was So Jarring

Talking Points Memo analyzes the mess:

The Donald Trump who took questions from reporters Tuesday in his first press conference as President-elect was the same combative, short-tempered figure the American public saw on the 2016 campaign trail, down to the red power tie.

The President-elect personally dressed-down a CNN reporter in scathing terms. He limited his comments on what a replacement plan for Obamacare would look like to a vague promise to “repeal and replace” the healthcare law “essentially simultaneously.” His responses were cheered on enthusiastically by a small group of staffers.

In short, two months after winning the White House in a historic upset and eight days out from Inauguration Day, Trump appeared no closer to adhering to the norms that have traditionally regulated the office he is poised to assume.

Russell Riley, associate professor at the University of Virginia’s nonpartisan Miller Center of presidential scholarship, told TPM that Trump’s remarks demonstrated a “personalization that you just do not see in the history of the presidency.”

“There’s no question that the candidate was elected largely because he was seen as someone who was willing to be confrontational and willing to explode a lot of the norms of American politics,” Riley said. “I think the voters found that appealing because there was a sense that he would take that approach with him into the office.”

“But I think there also has been an expectation that at some point those inclinations to blow up norms would be converted in service of a specific set of programs—that the destruction of what went before would eventually give way to the construction of what he expects to do once he’s in office,” he continued.

Little of the press conference was devoted to outlining a policy vision. There were no comments about working with Congress on healthcare, outlines for an overarching foreign policy strategy or a job creation plan.

Instead, Trump spoke in broad terms about his intention to be “the greatest jobs producer that God ever created” and to create a healthcare system that is “far less expensive and far better” than Obamacare. Asked about the plan his lawyer outlined in the presser for disentangling himself from the Trump Organization, Trump gave himself credit for turning down “$2 billion to do a deal in Dubai” with Middle Eastern developer Hussein Damack, who he deemed “a friend of mine, great guy.”

Why Trump Won

Because there are some really, really stupid people out there. And I really hate calling people stupid because it just seems like petty namecalling but I have no other idea of how to describe people like this:

Or this:

Obamacare is the nickname that republicans gave to the Affordable Care Act. Then you have the people who voted for Trump, despite him promising to repeal Obamacare, who will actually lose their insurance if that happens:

The CNN segment features people who live in Eastern Kentucky coal country and backed Trump because he promised to bring back coal jobs. Now, however, they worry that a provision in the ACA that makes it easier for longtime coal miners with black lung disease to get disability benefits could get eliminated along with the law. That provision shifted the burden of proving that the disability was directly caused by work in the mines away from the victim. Those benefits include financial and medical benefits. Some benefits now also extend to the widows of miners who had black lung disease — or pneumoconiosis, a lung illness associated with inhalation of coal dust — after their husbands die. Other reporting has also confirmed widespread coal country worries about losing these protections.

One man who worked in the mines for 35 years told CNN’s Miguel Marquez:

“When they eliminate the Obamacare, they may just eliminate all of the black lung program. It may all be gone. Don’t matter how many years you got.”

The widow of a deceased miner, who is now trying to get the benefits, said she doesn’t want to see Obamacare repealed, and even suggested Trump may be on the verge of betraying her and others in the region:

Voting against your own interests, just because, is just plain stupidity.

Trump Responds to GoldenShower Gate

Even if the report is complete fiction, and until it’s verified let’s stick with a healthy dose of skepticism of its veracity, this tweet is just the worst possible defense. Oh, the country that you are allegedly coordinating with and who probably is blackmailing you, is the country you are telling us says they didn’t do it?

He used all caps so we know he’s serious. “No nothing.”