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Hullabaloo


Thursday, March 15, 2018

 
He's proud to be a dumb liar

by digby




He even brags about how stupid and dishonest he is:
President Trump boasted in a fundraising speech Wednesday that he made up information in a meeting with the leader of a top U.S. ally, saying he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbor to the north without knowing whether that was the case.

“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,’ ” Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio obtained by The Washington Post. “Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed.

“... So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. ... I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it.’

‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit, but that doesn’t include energy and timber. … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible.”

The Office of the United States Trade Representative says the United States has a trade surplus with Canada.

Apparently all the rich Republicans sycophants ate it up. I guess he makes them feel good about themselves by comparison.

Oh God the rest of it was even worse:

He also seemed to threaten to pull U.S. troops stationed in South Korea if he didn’t get what he wanted on trade with Seoul, an ally. He said that the country had gotten rich but that U.S. politicians never negotiated better deals. “We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” Trump said. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

“Our allies care about themselves,” he said. “They don’t care about us.”

Trump’s rare comments that laid bare his approach to arguing trade facts with foreign leaders show how he might try to engage with other heads of state in the coming weeks. Trump has said he will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as soon as next week, a steep increase in duties that could impact some of the U.S. government’s biggest trading partners.

Trump said countries can request exemption from these tariffs but only after direct negotiations with him. And the audio from the fundraiser shows how difficult these discussions could prove.

In his 30-minute speech to donors in Missouri, Trump lavished praise on himself while ticking through a list of U.S. allies that he said were actually taking advantage of the United States.
[...]
Trump described his decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un through the prism of making history and besting his predecessors while lamenting his media coverage, questioning U.S. allies and labeling his presidency as “virgin territory.”

“They couldn’t have met” with Kim, he said, after mocking former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. “Nobody would have done what I did.”

“It’s called appeasement, please don’t do anything,” he said of other presidents.

“They say, 'Maybe he’s not the one to negotiate,' ” he said, mocking the voice of a news anchor. “He’s got very little knowledge of the Korean Peninsula. Maybe he’s not the one. ... Maybe we should send in the people that have been playing games and didn’t know what the hell they’ve been doing for 25 years.”

The through lines of his meandering speech were simple: Trump was tougher than all the rest, and the United States was not going to be laughed at or taken advantage of.

He accused Japan of using gimmicks to deny U.S. auto companies access to their consumers, said South Korea was taking advantage of outdated trade rules even though its economy was strong and said China had single-handedly rebuilt itself on the back of its trade surplus with the United States.

“It’s the bowling ball test. They take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and drop it on the hood of the car,” Trump said of Japan. “If the hood dents, the car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible,” he said. It was unclear what he was talking about.

He said he didn’t even want Japan to pay the tariffs but to build more automobiles in the United States, which he said Japan would do if tariffs were imposed. There is no evidence of such a possibility as of now.

His comments were among his most protectionist to date and didn’t identify a single benefit the United States receives from its trading relationships.

The "free-trade globalists," he said, are against his trade moves because “they’re worldly people, they have stuff on the other side.” Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, recently quit over the tariffs and was derisively labeled by his critics as a globalist.

Trump mocked other politicians for wanting to keep NAFTA, calling Mexico “spoiled” and saying that Canada had outsmarted the United States. “The best deal is to terminate it and make a new deal,” he said.

Above all, he cast his presidency in historic proportions, saying he was attracting so much media criticism because he was doing so well. He seemed fixated on his media coverage, even talking about a specific CNN segment with Erin Burnett.

He said the news media was criticizing him for “conceding” a meeting with Kim.

“They were afraid of being blown up. Then all of a sudden, they say, let’s not meet,” he said of reporters.

While Trump said some decry his rhetoric and think his bellicose and mercurial tendencies could bring the United States into a war, he explained why he taunted the North Korean president as “Little Rocket Man.” He said the South Koreans told him that Kim was agreeing to meet because of the tough U.S. sanctions and that they promised to not do any nuclear tests or missile launches until a meeting occurred. That comment could not be verified.

“He’s going to get us in a war,” he said, again mocking a news anchor. “You know what’s going to get us in a war? Weakness.
Somebody needs to stop him from drinking so much diet coke (or doing whatever it is that makes him so over-stimulated. )He is on a manic tear and it's getting really scary.

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