Axios’ Jonathan Swan on Trump Interview: ‘He Always Wants to Sell’ (Video)

Swan appeared on “Morning Joe” Tuesday to discuss his widely-shared Trump interview from Monday night, in which the president downplayed the coronavirus

Axios’ Jonathan Swan used Tuesday morning to do a few television hits in promotion of Monday night’s interview with President Donald Trump, telling MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that essentially, the president “always wants to sell,” and that came through in his sit-down.

After MSNBC’s Willie Geist played a clip of Trump blaming governors for coronavirus deaths and saying, “It is what it is,” Swan delved deeper into the answer he got from the president.

“This is a very, very serious point,” Swan said. “We’re in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century. 150,000 Americans are dead. 1,000 Americans are dying every day and when President Trump is pressed on it, he returns to a few different lines. He says, ‘We’ve done more tests than anyone else in the world.’ Well, yes, that’s true, but it’s also not a relevant — particularly relevant — statistic because many of those tests, people have to wait more than a week to get their results, which renders that effectively useless because they’re going around infecting a lot of other people. The reason we’ve done so many tests is because we didn’t get to the testing early enough. The virus spread like wildfire throughout the country so we’re playing catch-up.”

He went on to say the most important element of the interview was the revelation of Trump’s own communication methods.

Swan said, “This is what I was trying to get at with him in the interview. He always wants to sell and present the most positive spin on things, even if it bears no resemblance to reality. Whereas that might be appropriate for selling a commercial real estate property or hyping a reality TV show, when you’re talking about a whole bunch of people — millions of Americans who hang on his every word, many of whom are elderly and in the high-risk category — when you’re telling them this virus is under control, that’s not a harmless statement. That has real-world consequences. It is deadly serious.”

Swan pressed Trump through the interview, which aired Monday on “Axios on HBO,” reminding him that 1,000 Americans are dying per day from the coronavirus, to which the president replied, “You’re not reporting it correctly, Jonathan.”