Trump Is Sad That Paul Ryan Didn’t Investigate Trump More

Michael Brochstein/ZUMA

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Instead of watching Federer and Nadal play at Wimbledon today,¹ Jon Chait apparently decided to watch Donald Trump’s latest press avail:

In a lengthy rant to reporters at the White House today that was unhinged even by Trumpian standards…

Yeah, sure, how many times have I heard that before? Anyway, fine, carry on. The subject is Paul Ryan, who popped out from retirement yesterday to remark that Trump was astonishingly ignorant about how the government works:

In a lengthy rant to reporters at the White House today that was unhinged even by Trumpian standards, the president made several attacks on the former Speaker of the House. Employing his favorite method of turning the insult around on the insulter, Trump claimed it was Ryan who had no knowledge of the government: “Frankly, he was a baby, he didn’t know what he was doing.”

More strangely, Trump’s indictment of Ryan’s tenure includes lambasting him for failing to get subpoenas: “He was no leader … he wouldn’t get subpoenas … when Nancy Pelosi hands them out like they’re cookies.” It’s true that Ryan did not use his subpoena power as Speaker. That’s because he was cooperating with Trump by refusing to allow any oversight of the administration. Ryan refused to send out subpoenas because Trump didn’t want him to. Trump is attacking Ryan for helping to cover up Trump’s misconduct.

This is nothing new for Trump. He routinely says whatever’s handy, even if it directly contradicts something he said last year or last month or even yesterday. I don’t even know if he knows he’s doing it. He just blurts out whatever he thinks will appeal to his base, in the firm knowledge that the only people who will realize he’s being a moron are just effete intellectuals who won’t vote for him anyway.

¹Which I’m totally not doing because I’m, you know, working.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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