October 1, 2018, was your typical day for the Trump administration and its various hangers-on. Donald Trumpbragged about a “historic” achievement—in this case, the “new” NAFTA agreement—while failing to mention that the pact, which he wrecked diplomatic relations with Canada to secure, is essentially a rebrand with some minor changes cribbed from Barack Obama. Sarah Huckabee Sanders ripped a reporter’s head offand used it for batting practice. Donald Trump Jr. proved once and for all that he’s a sentient bottle of Axe body spray. Oh, and the president of the United States suggested he has incriminating dirt on a U.S. senator that could be used for blackmail, if he so chooses.
During a press conference in the Rose Garden to discuss the deal struck with Canada and Mexico last night, the conversation naturally turned to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh,who, in retrospect, showed enormous restraint not showing up to last Thursday’s hearing wearing a beer helmet. Asked if he would empower the F.B.I. to widen its investigation into allegations against the judge, Trump initially responded that “the F.B.I. should interview anybody that they want within reason.” But, of course, he wasn’t finished. Trump claimed that if Kavanaugh were really guilty of the things he’s been accused of, they would have come up “over the last 20, 30 years of his career,” and that it’s just so unfair that people are “going back to high school and . . . saying he drank a lot one evening” (fact-check: they’re saying he spent most of high school and college blackout drunk and engaged in sexual assault). The president then told the press that he’s got way, way worse dirt on a Democratic member of Congress, and seemed to suggest that he might have to air said dirt if Democrats don’t lay off his pal Brett.
“I happen to know some United States senators,” Trump said, “one who is on the other side, who is pretty aggressive. I’ve seen that person in very bad situations. O.K.? I’ve seen that person in very, very bad situations. Somewhat compromising. And you know, I think it’s very unfair to bring up things like this.”
Later, because he’s extremely presidential, Trump declined to identify the senator in question, saying he’d save it for his post–White House memoir.
And in case you were wondering, yes, this all happened during the same press conference in which the president both insulted a female reporter, telling her, “I know you’re not thinking, you never do,” and accidentally admitted that anyone watching the Kavanaugh hearing came away with the impression that Tobin, P.J., and Squi’s buddy was a raging drunk, at least during his Georgetown Prep and Yale years. All in all, a red-letter day for POTUS!
Trump publicly dangling blackmail material, which he refers to as “compromising situations,” at some unnamed Democratic Senator. pic.twitter.com/meZb28zaJN
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) October 1, 2018