A new report from Axios says that President Trump has his past performances loaded up and perpetually waiting for him on his DVR so he can delight in moments he believes are "evidence of his brilliance." The report claims Trump rewatches his debates and rallies because he thinks they're impressive, and he's supposedly shared his sentiments with others in the room, some of whom are Axios' unnamed sources. Bustle has reached out to the White House for a comment on the report.
It's not unreasonable for a person to rewatch a speech or performance for self-improvement. It can be the most effective way to chip away at any looming flaws or rhetorical crutches. But, according to Axios, these aren't the reasons that Trump has his past performances on his TiVo list. Instead of focusing on weaknesses or searching out ways to refine his technique, Trump apparently "luxuriates in the moments he believes are evidence of his brilliance."
According to Axios' sources, the president commentates as he watches himself on the large TV in the private dining room connected to the Oval Office. As he watches, Trump reportedly celebrates his controversial on-camera remarks, making comments like, "Wait for it ... See what I did there?"
Early on in his presidency, Trump reportedly enjoyed rewatching the rebuttals he made in debates against Hillary Clinton. His apparent favorite to relive is the debate against Clinton in St. Louis. After the infamous Access Hollywood tape got out (the one in which Trump was recorded making lewd comments about women while filming a segment with Billy Bush), Trump's campaign team had invited Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct accusers to be a part of the debate audience.
Axios reported that Trump reveled in replaying the portion of the debate when Clinton said, "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."
"Because," Trump said back, "you'd be in jail."
"People think it's easy," Trump apparently said in response to rally footage, per one of Axios' sources. "I've been doing this a long time now and people are used to it, every rally, it's like, people have said P.T. Barnum. People have said that before. And they think that's easy, because hey, P.T. Barnum, he does the circus. ... They don't realize, it's a lot of work. It's not easy."
Trump's history of seeming self-congratulation has been well-documented, often coming after moments of tragedy.
Trump's relationship with television programs and media in general is unlike that of any president in the past. According to Business Insider, the president has been known to schedule and base his meetings on what he has seen on his favorite cable programs, most notably Fox and Friends. Trump's aggression toward the media is often noted on Twitter, but in the moments that he's been complimented — usually on Fox — he's returned the praise. And apparently, as Axios has written, that praise extends back to himself on tv performances.