Jonathan Swan’s interview with Donald Trump is getting high marks for the interviewer, not the subject. CNN media analyst Oliver Darcy says, “this is hands down the best TV interview of Trump during his presidency. It’s not even close. Swan displays a masterful grasp of the facts & how be confronts Trump with them is remarkable to watch.”
The @jonathanvswan video is important; an unvarnished look at the very limited capacity of the POTUS. This is what the WH staff sees everyday. This is what the cabinet sees. They know. Yet they prop him up. Their patriotic duty is to either resign or work against his re-elect.
— Mike Murphy (@murphymike) August 4, 2020
Axios’ Swan was able to follow up and challenge the president in several areas, including on the topic that is front and center, coronavirus. When asked about the high number of people dying everything, instead of offering empathy to those who have lost loved ones, Trump remarks, “it is what it is.”
TRUMP on 1,000 Americans dying from coronavirus each day:
“It is what it is.”pic.twitter.com/dgzc1s7Ptt
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) August 4, 2020
And watch as he fumbles through papers to try and prove the U.S. death toll isn’t actually that bad. He even seems to suggest South Korea is cooking the books.
.@jonathanvswan: “Oh, you’re doing death as a proportion of cases. I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc.”@realdonaldtrump: “You can’t do that.”
Swan: “Why can’t I do that?” pic.twitter.com/MStySfkV39
— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
Trump also failed to show empathy when asked about the death of Congressman John Lewis.
Trump: “I don’t know. I don’t know John Lewis. He chose not to come to my inauguration. I never met John Lewis…
Swan: Do you find him impressive?
Trump: I find a lot of people impressive. I find many people not impressive, but no… He didn’t come to my inauguration. He didn’t come to my state of the union speeches. And that’s okay,t hat’s his right. And again, nobody has done more for the Black Americans than I have. He should’ve come. I think he made a big mistake.”
Swan: “Do you find his story impressive, what he’s done for this country?”
Trump: “He was a person that devoted a lot of energy and a lot of heart to civil rights, but there were many others also?”
Trump tells #AxiosOnHBO that he “can’t say one way or the other” whether John Lewis was impressive.
“He didn’t come to my inauguration.” pic.twitter.com/L0uevhjrG4
— Axios (@axios) August 4, 2020
One person Trump does continue to offer sympathy for is accused child sex traffickers Ghislaine Maxwell.
Swan: “Mr. President, Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested on allegations of child sex trafficking. Why would you wish such a person well?”
Trump: “First of all, I don’t know that, but I do know that her friend or boyfriend was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail, so yeah, I wish her well. I would wish you well. I would wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty… her boyfriend died in jail… and I do wish her well, I’m not looking for anything bad for her… all it is, is her boyfriend died in jail… I do, I wish her well.”
Trump sure got defensive when talking about his friends Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. Wonder why.
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) August 4, 2020
HBO has made this entire episode of “Axios on HBO” available to watch for free. Watch above.