Reactions to Donald Trump’s bizarre speech at the CIA earlier today began to come in immediately, and it is safe to say the operative word is “aghast.” As The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent tweeted,
Trump telling CIA that
1) he doesn’t doubt their political loyalty
2) he’s at war with media as an institution
Nothing to see here.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 21, 2017
BuzzFeed‘s Chris Geidner was especially shocked by Trump’s fulsome self-praise:
In front of a memorial to CIA employees who died in the line of service, Trump talked about being on the cover of Time magazine a lot. pic.twitter.com/NfJzCdePly
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) January 21, 2017
As did Mother Jones‘ David Corn:
Trump talking at CIA prattles on about “dishonest media” & how he’s been on Time magazine cover more than Tom Brady. This is nuts.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) January 21, 2017
Other reactions were no more favorable, with Vox‘s Matthew Yglesias taking note of Trump’s point of departure, an alternate reality:
Mike Pence delivering a speech at the CIA from an alternate reality in which Trump never said any of the things he’s said about the CIA.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) January 21, 2017
As noted by Joy Reid and David Rothkopf, Trump bussed in his sycophantic cheering section again:
Donald Trump literally went to the CIA to give his Trump speech in front of presumably them, perhaps cheering staff?
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 21, 2017
Trump busses stooges in to play politics at memorial to fallen CIA agents. Makes agency look partisan and anti-press. @jimsciutto https://t.co/ldwWnTxwmm
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) January 21, 2017
As a hint of what’s to come, Trump’s performance today speaks volumes, as The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman explained with a resigned “here we go”:
Trump now asking people at the CIA to react to his inaugural speech. And insisting he had a huge crowd yesterday. Here we go.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) January 21, 2017
Donald Trump did himself no favors today through his erratic behavior at CIA headquarters, other than providing himself with further ammunition to throw at the media for accurately reporting on how bizarre his speech was, and how offensive it was to stand in front of a memorial to those who died in service to their country to brag about himself and wage war on that same media.