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Tom Shillue


Medved on Trump performance: Astonishing and deeply alarming

Michael Medved started his show Thursday at noon as always, celebrating “another great day in this greatest nation on God’s green earth.” But there was another reason the Conservative syndicated talk show host wanted to celebrate: “The greatest press conference in all of American history.” Great in what terms? That’s up for debate when it comes to the Trump performance that took place.

Related: Trump administration says it will revise travel ban

Medved called Trump’s press conference that started as an announcement of the president’s new Labor Secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, as a “truly remarkable performance.”

“This was the most remarkable, the most entertaining, the most fascinating, the most reinventing, the most altogether unconventional, precedent-shattering press conference ever by an American president,” Medved said. “It’s astonishing. The whole thing is compellingly watchable.”

After all, it was a Trump performance.

Before getting to the fireworks between Trump and the press corps, Medved credited the “excellent” appointment of Acosta, who Medved believes is among Trump’s best picks, alongside Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

“It’s a great choice and a very reassuring choice,” Medved said. “By the way, Andy Puzder was a great choice and he deserved to be Labor Secretary and he would have done a terrific job. I’m sorry he was forced by toxic politics to withdraw.”

Medved said Americans can also celebrate Trump following up “quickly, decisively, effectively and brilliantly” after Puzder withdrew from the job by picking the right replacement. However, instead of lauding Acosta, Trump turned the podium over to “free-ranging and sometimes very challenging” questions from the press. He gave Trump credit for trying.

“No matter how you feel about Donald Trump, you’ve got to acknowledge that he was doing something up here in terms of performance art that no other president has ever been willing to do,” he said. “And it was remarkable. And again riveting, and deeply alarming.”

Alarming Trump performance

And why was this Trump performance alarming?

“The president was trying to assure his strong supporters out there and people who believe in him and America in general: I’m firmly in control,” Medved said. “What he showed instead is that he’s not in control of events; he’s not even in control of himself.”

Here’s how Medved broke down some of the other highlights from the Trump performance on Thursday.

The opening claim that Trump’s was “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan”

“Umm, bad guess. Come on. I heard this and, of course, I slapped my forehead. It’s obvious the president was departing from his prepared remarks and of course he was called on it by someone in the press corps who was awake. Let the record show, this was not the biggest electoral college victory since Ronald Reagan. Nor was it the second,  nor the third … Actually, there are five other victories (George H. W. Bush in 1988, Clinton in 1992 and 96, Obama in 2008 and 2012) since Reagan that have been bigger than President Trump’s victory. ”

Trump backtracks slightly, saying he was given faulty information

“If he was given that information, should it not be grounds for immediate firing?”

That the White House is running like a “fine-tuned machine”

“Does anyone agree with that? Seriously… the hope for President Trump and if you love the country, and I do with all my heart, is that he turns this around. And maybe this situation today will lead him to do that. And part of the turning around has to mean restructuring of the White House staff. A number of people have said that he has to give Reince Priebus more authority as Chief of Staff and create a more clear line of delineation in terms of who is actually helping in the White House. Yeah, that’s probably a good idea but it’s not enough. The thing right now is not running like a finely tuned machine because if it were you wouldn’t have the Flynn crisis, you wouldn’t have this war on the press. Or is the war on the press the war with the press? Is that winning strategy and a great way to go?”

That the wall is coming and will be cheaper because Trump will negotiate it

“What’s good about this? He didn’t say that Mexico was gonna pay for it. That’s good.”

Medved’s overall takeaway

“Do I think that the press conference was a great triumph and a huge success for the Trump administration? No. Do I think it is the complete train wreck and disaster and beginning of the end that you’re going to be hearing about from the mainstream media? No. And I’ll tell you why: Because as you’re watching it, even as your jaw is dropping and you’re listening to really strange exchanges, you’re seeing a person up there. There’s a human being. You can sense that this is not some kind of blow-dried – well, let me drop that analogy; nothing to do with hair – this is not some kind of pre-processed, or well-edited, or well-controlled, or somehow blanched out, media-advised phony. This is the real deal. What you see is what you get. This is the guy. This is the guy we chose to be our leader. He’s clearly vulnerable, very emotional, sometimes utterly irrational, but compellingly and undeniably human and authentic. And that’s the core of his personality.”

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