Donald Trump's Twitter took on the media yet again, this time aiming directly at the Gray Lady — that is, The New York Times, one of the country's most well-respected papers. After setting up a sit-down with the publisher, editors, reporters, and columnists, Trump temporarily cancelled the meeting due to an alleged change of ground rules (which the paper denied). Trump said it was "not nice" before reversing course three hours later and ultimately attending the meeting. But to really understand what went down, you have to read these live tweets of the Trump- Times meeting.
They were sent out by Times political reporter, Maggie Haberman, who covered the presidential campaign. She has the blow-by-blow of the sometimes seemingly contradictory comments by Trump. The paper's editorial board would go on to explain that everything he said seemed to contradict past statements, be it about climate change, waterboarding, or the paper itself. The overall gist of the meeting from other sources like Jezebel is that Trump will say "whatever to whomever whenever it suits him." That really does seem to be the case for many topics — what remains to be seen is if this is a one-time readjust after the election or just plain dishonesty.
This runs in contrast to his regular attacks from the campaign trail in which he claimed the media had rigged the election in Hillary Clinton's favor. It also would seem at odds with his Twitter tirade against The Times the day before, as well as in conflict with his meeting with television media that was described as a "firing squad."
Trump somewhat explained his shift on the Electoral College. It could of course be that it's the only way he's being elected, given that Clinton has at least a 1.7 million vote lead. He once said it was a "disaster for democracy."
A new piece by Nate Silver on FiveThirtyEight points to Trump doing better among uneducated voters, not necessarily those doing worst economically. That could point to other parts of Trump's message being the true appeal.
Exit polls point to black voters supporting Clinton with an 80-point margin.
Neo-Nazis, Breitbart & Bannon
Despite a call by Democrats to rescind Bannon's appointment and evidence from the strategist-to-be's ex-wife that he's anti-semitic, it appears that Trump is sticking with him. He did disavow "alt-right" neo-Nazis, though.
Let's remember his threat to put Clinton in jail at the second debate: "If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your (missing email) situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception." He went on to say to Clinton that if he were in charge, "you'd be in jail." That combined with James Comey's last-minute letter to Congress may have won him the presidency.
This is an about-face but really good news for the planet if it's true. In May he vowed to get the U.S. out of the Paris climate change treaty. And of course there's this tweet from 2012: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."
His Company & Conflicts Of Interest
So it turns out presidents can have a conflict of interest — even if the laws don't apply the same way to them. And by touting his brand in the same answer, he basically admitted that he does have one. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said this was the most dangerous answer he gave in the interview and compared it to Nixon.
Examples Of Conflicts Of Interest
This would seem to prove the point, right?
It's Really All About America Though
If you say it, maybe it makes it true. Because that's at odds with what he just said — unless his golf course in Scotland somehow became American territory when the Trump name was plastered on it.
But Business, Too
He's going to have and do it all. His kids will be largely in charge, but he's not going to stop seeing them. So in fact, he will know how his personal empire will be affected by presidential decisions. There may be no law that requires the president to put his assets in a trust (Obama didn't but he just had mutual funds and Treasury bonds), but that doesn't mean it's OK not to, especially with holdings like Trump's.
Everyone Loves Him
He may really actually think this. And maybe some do for the moment. Love is fickle.
He Loves President Obama (Now)
Don't forget the racist birther stories that Trump pushed for years. And just because President Obama is being presidential, does not mean that he likes Trump. In fact he's considering staying active in politics just to counter the possible harm that Trump could commit to the country and the constitution.
Syria & The World
Foreign affairs may be Trump's biggest weak spot, and while clearly nation-building didn't go so well for us (see: Iraq) in the past, the U.S. may need to take a more active role to prevent human suffering in Syria. Two key ways — taking more refugees and keeping Russian from bombing civilians — may be harder under a Trump presidency.
So that is what Donald Trump was thinking during his meeting with the Times. Tomorrow may be another story.