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Donald Trump *definitely* didn't pay attention to the impeachment hearing

During a joint press conference with Turkish President Erdogan, President Trump was asked about top US diplomat in Ukraine Bill Taylor's testimony that an aide of his overheard a phone call between Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

Posted: Nov 14, 2019 1:10 AM
Updated: Nov 14, 2019 1:10 AM

Even as the public debate over his presidential future opened on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump wasn't paying it any mind.


Like, not at all.

Super not interested.

"He's in the Oval in meetings," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Wednesday morning. "Not watching. He's working."

Trump said much the same at a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "I did not watch it. I'm too busy to watch it. It's a witch hunt, it's a hoax."

To believe those claims, you have to ignore both the present and the past.

Let's start with the past. And in that past, we know that Trump is a man (and a politician) who avidly consumes cable news. Since his earliest days as a candidate, he has shown how cable TV news is the frame through which he sees the world.

Asked by NBC's Chuck Todd in 2015 where he gets his military information, Trump said this: "Well, I watch the shows. I mean, I really see a lot of great -- you know, when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals." In 2018, Trump said this on Fox News of the arrest of onetime confidant Michael Cohen: "I watched a number of shows, sometimes you get good information by watching shows, those two counts aren't a crime."

Then there's the present. During the course of Wednesday's testimony from Ambassador Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent in front of the House Intelligence Committee, the President retweeted more than 20 tweets from a variety of Republican officials and organizations taking issue with not just their testimony but the whole idea of the impeachment investigation.

How could a President who is is too busy to pay any attention to the impeachment hearings also be retweeting things about the testimony? Either Trump has cloned himself (which would be a big story!), he has delegated management of his Twitter feed on one of the biggest days of his presidency to a junior person or, well, Trump (and Grisham) isn't telling the truth about his viewing habits on Wednesday.

I'll let you guess which one of those three options is true.

The Point: Trump wants you to believe that these hearings are so unimportant that he can't be bothered to pay attention to them. If you believe that, I have a little video company named Blockbuster -- it's a real growth opportunity! -- you might be interested in.

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