This is hardly the most important part of Donald Trump’s interview with the New York Times today, but still:
So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. Here’s something where you walk up and say, “I want my insurance.” It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.
Trump still doesn’t know the difference between health insurance and life insurance. And yet, he says the senators he met with at lunch “couldn’t believe it, how much I know about it. I know a lot about health care.” Uh huh.
On a different note, this interview is just a long series of anodyne questions with no real attempt to pin down Trump on anything of substance. Aside from conversational stuff, here’s a fairly complete list of the questions they asked:
- How was your lunch [with Republican senators]?
- You are generally of the view that people should have health care, right?
- Did the senators want to try again [to pass health care]?
- Where does it go from here, do you think?
- How’s [Mitch] McConnell to work with?
- Will you go to Britain? Are you going to make a state visit to Britain?
- A lot of people are curious about your conversation with President [Vladimir V.] Putin at dinner. Not surprising. But what did you all talk about…?
- You asked them [Republican senators] about it [Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer] at lunch?
- Sorry to interrupt. The email, though, said something I thought was really interesting, and I wonder what you thought of it. It said this “is part of Russia and its government’s support of Mr. Trump.” So whatever actually happened at the meeting—
- So, what do you interpret that to mean, now that you have seen it?
- I do want to come out, on the email, now that you have seen that email that said Russia’s government — I mean, how did you — did you interpret it that way?
- Given what’s happened since then, though, was it a political mistake to have fired him [James Comey], given what’s happened?
- But look at the headache it’s caused, you know?
- Do you wish you had done it on Day 1?
- What would be the line beyond which if Mueller went, you would say, “That’s too far, we would need to dismiss him”?
- Did you shoo other people out of the room when you talked to Comey?
- This is why I want to come back to that email, because, like — does it concern you? Let’s say that the election didn’t change because of anything Russia did, which has been your point, right? You point —
- But did that email concern you, that the Russian government was trying something to compromise—
- Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?
There aren’t more than two or three probing questions in the whole bunch. And the only attempt at a follow-up of any kind was from Peter Baker on the Don Jr. email. I get that it’s entertaining to let Trump ramble and free associate—and I admit that it does produce news sometimes—but a high school reporter could have conducted this interview. What’s the point of bothering with it if you’re just going to lob a bunch of Fox & Friends nerf ball questions and then let Trump blather?