Trump, who sounded hoarse over the phone, had no events on his schedule for Thursday; It was the third day in a row since his return from hospital as his public agenda appeared empty. In videos released at the White House on Wednesday and Thursday, he looked optimistic but momentarily breathless and wearing heavy makeup.
He indicated that he could have contracted the virus from a reception he held for the Gold Star families at the White House last Sunday instead of the ceremony announcing his candidate for the Supreme Court, which led to several cases.
“They want my hugs and they want to kiss me,” he said. “And they do. Frankly, I’m not asking them to back up.”
He expressed disappointment with three of his top administration officials – including two of his most loyal cabinet members – though he seemed unwilling to do anything about it, saying he didn’t want to talk about it any more.
It is not socialism, it is far from socialism, he said, and went on to make false and fearful claims that Harris wanted to “open the borders to allow murderers, murderers and rapists to flow into our neighborhood.” country.”
Twice called Harris, the first woman of color on a grand party card, “the beast.”
The appearance set aside any coverage of the vice president’s debate on Wednesday evening. It seemed to reinforce the impression on a candidate in deep distress about his campaign status.
Those who spoke to him said that throughout his illness, Trump had focused on race. He worried about the way his hospitalization would play out politically, and he initially resisted going to Walter Reed.
After his rival Biden – in some national polls in double digits – the president appeared to grasp the last lines of attack, including the hint that the 77-year-old Biden would not last for a full term.
“Biden will not be president for two months,” he claimed without basis. “He is mentally incapable.”
By comparison, Trump himself has portrayed a picture of health, even though he is the candidate who last week struggled to breathe and needed extra oxygen.
Trump said, “I’m back because I’m a perfect body specimen and I’m very young. So I’m lucky that way.” Trump, 74, is obese and knows about heart problems.
He added, “I could have been discharged from the hospital in one day,” and attributed his recovery to the experimental treatment of monoclonal antibodies produced by Regeneron.
Many open-ended questions about Trump’s case, which the obedient interlocutor did not ask, have not been answered. He did not elaborate on what the lung scans showed, he did not say the last time his test result was negative, nor was he asked about his high temperature last weekend, when he was airlifted to Walter Reed.
Trump said, “I’m basically very clean.”
Trump was anxious to forgo his hospitalization. He returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday, where aides in full protective clothing briefed him about the looming hurricane and the stimulus talks. Indeed, travel has been discussed for the next week, although based on when Trump was infected it will likely remain contagious.
Trump ignored these concerns in his interview.
Claimed “I don’t think I’m contagious at all.”
He mentioned three prominent members of his administration who he said infuriated him for various reasons. Some, like FBI Director Christopher Wray, have infuriated Trump for months. But his criticism of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was new.
“I’m not happy with him, therefore,” Trump said of a senior diplomat for not posting emails he said deleted by his rival Hillary Clinton in 2016.
He also sought out Attorney General William Barr, who said he would go down in history as a “sad stance” if he did not sue Trump’s political opponents.
“Bill must act,” he said, noting that time is running out for his administration officials to use their offices to go after his opponents.
Most notoriously was his attacks on Wray, who he accused of underestimating the risks of mail voting. But asked if he intended to fire another FBI director, Trump objected.
He said, “I don’t want to say that yet.” “It was a disappointment.”