It’s been a busy week in the US – with the Democratic National Convention and Steve Bannon, Trump’s old adviser, being arrested while out at sea.
So Trump had plenty to say.
1. He said he didn’t know anything about a scam to build a border wall – despite making it one of his big demands
Steve Bannon –a right-wing political adviser, co-founder of Breitbart and one of the proponents of Trump’s “build the wall” slogan in the last election, was arrested while out at sea. He was arrested for siphoning off a million dollars in money from a crowdfunding appeal to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.
I haven’t been dealing with him for a very long period of time, haven’t been dealing with him at all. It’s a very sad thing by Mr Bannon.
He first said that he didn’t know anything about the project that Bannon was involved in, and then he said:
I don’t like that project. I thought it was being done for showboating reasons.
2. Trump has said that he will be sending law enforcement officers to polling locations in the November elections
Despite the fact that it is illegal and would be terrifying, Trump has said he will be sending “sheriffs” and “law enforcement” to polling places on Election Day. He has repeatedly claimed that “election fraud” will undermine the results of any election in November
3. Trump begged the Supreme Court to let him block people on Twitter
Trump had been told by a federal appeals court last year that he could not block people on Twitter because his account was “overwhelmingly official” in nature. Many people who had been blocked by him had said it violated their First Amendment rights.
Trump’s administration is now asking the Supreme Court to let him block people from his personal Twitter account, arguing that his Twitter page is his personal property and so he should be fit to do with it as he wants – which he overwhelmingly does anyway. It’s unlikely the case will be heard before the November 2020 election.
4. Trump called New Zealand’s cluster of coronavirus cases terrible.
New Zealand was coronavirus free for several weeks – but then a new cluster broke out. Even so, Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, sprung into action quickly and locked down again.
Trump still found a way to criticise them, saying that their cluster was “terrible” and that the places that had previously been held up as great examples were now seeing a big surge in cases.
He was at a Minnesota campaign rally, where he said,
The places they were using to hold up now they’re having a big surge … they were holding up names of countries and now they’re saying ‘whoops! Do you see what’s happening in New Zealand? They beat it, they beat it, it was like front-page news because they wanted to show me something Big surge in New Zealand, you know it’s terrible, we don’t want that, but this is an invisible enemy that should never have been let to come to Europe and the rest of the world by China.
Ardern responded to the criticism by pointing out that the US is still doing far worse than any of the countries seeing a resurgence in cases now.
5. Trump said that QAnon was good people
QAnon – the fringe conspiracy theory that has now gained traction in the mainstream – suggests that there is a deep state conspiracy theory to undermine Trump and his administration. They’ve been labelled a potential domestic terrorism threat by the FBI. That being said there are numerous Republicans running for office in this election that believe in the conspiracy.
Trump, who has never publically admitted if he believes in the conspiracy or not, was recently asked to comment on the theory and those that believe in it. Rather than condemn them he said;
I don't know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate. But I don't know much about the movement. These are people that don't like seeing what's going on in places like Portland, and places like Chicago, and New York and other cities and states. And I've heard these are people that love our country and they just don't like seeing it.
6. Trump blames California for wildfires - and tells the state that you gotta clean your floors
Forest fires started raging again in summer in California – and Trump threatened to withhold federal money because “they just don’t listen to us.” He made the same threats in 2018 and in 2019, when forest fires continued to devastate the area.
His genius idea? Telling Californians that they have to clean their floors (really).
I see again the forest fires are starting. They’re starting again in California. I said, you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests — there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they’re like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up. Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us,” he added. "I’ve been telling them this now for three years, but they don’t want to listen. The environment, the environment,' but they have massive fires again.
7. He wants to boycott Goodyear tyres because they banned MAGA hats.
Goodyear, the tires manufacturer, have reportedly banned red MAGA hats after a diversity training seminar – where the company listed Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ Pride as acceptable causes to support. Trump then tweeted about the ban, saying that they had banned MAGA hats and that you can get better tyres elsewhere.
Given the pandemic, forest fires and everything else happening in the US, you would assume that Trump has more pressing concerns than whether or not a manufacturer banned his hats, but apparently not.
8. Rants about sharks and seals
Just when you thought things with Trump couldn't get anymore ridiculous he literally went on a rant about sharks and other creatures during a speech. Speaking to a small crowd in Old Forge, Pennsylvania on Friday, he said:
They were saying the other night – they were saying, 'Oh sharks, we have to protect them'. I said, 'wait a minute, wait'. They actually want to remove all the seals in order to save the shark. I said, wait a minute, don't have it the other way around?
He was like, 'I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all sharks die.' He was like, riveted. He was like, obsessed. It's so strange, I know
Stirring stuff there from the US president there. Really makes you feel proud.