On Tuesday afternoon Donald Trump gave what he said was going to be a press conference to discuss China sanctions, but instead turned into a rambling airing of grievances that more closely resembled one of his political rallies. And afterward, CNN’s Jim Acosta told Anderson Cooper that in his view, it happened because the administration is largely staffed by what amounts to a cult.
During the conference, which lasted more than an hour, Trump trashed his Democratic Party rival Joe Biden and made false or patently absurd claims — for instance, that Biden intends to make windows illegal. No, really, he said this. Trump also literally accused Democrats of tacit support for terrorism.
The weird spectacle had a lot of media observers put off, including Acosta, who tweeted immediately after that the whole thing “soiled” the presidency. “Presidents do not use the Rose Garden in that kind of naked political fashion,” he said. “That was not a press conference, as the WH described it. It was a campaign rally disguised as a press conference. It was a bait and switch.”
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Both CNN and MSNBC pulled away from the press conference when Trump began rambling about Biden.
A few minutes later, Acosta appeared on “Anderson Cooper 360” to discuss it. “Is there anyone around the president who shakes their head when they hear him rambling in the Rose Garden like this?” asked Cooper.
“No,” said Acosta. “We are down to Kool-Aid drinkers and next of kin here at the Trump White House. There are no more adults who will level with the president.” Ouch.
You can watch the exchange above.