Trump’s words in February, 2020. Perhaps he’s not so stupid after all.

Earlier this week, CNN released some of Bob Woodward’s tapes from his interviews with Trump.  People all over the web and airways are paying special attention to a conversation with Trump on February 7, 2020 in which Trump clearly states he is aware of the deadly nature of the COVID19 coronavirus.  He explains that danger to Woodward using clear, non-scientific terms.

Then, in March, 2020, Trump told Woodward that it’s not just old people who are vulnerable to the virus, but young people too “plenty of young people.” Donald J. Trump said this IN MARCH OF 2020. Think about that.

I confess that my assessment of Trump has been largely that he is self-interested and intellectually inept.  I’ve imagined that there are lots of people behind the scenes (in this country and in Russia) pulling his strings and that he is, first and foremost, a poster boy for and puppet of, moneyed interests.

What these recordings (and yes, I’ve listened to Trump’s own voice) indicate is something far more sinister.  

Trump has never hesitated to show his true colors to anyone who was watching.

Trump is indeed self-interested. Trump definitely lacks moral compass and compassion. HOWEVER, Trump is not as intellectually inept as I had previously thought.  He is able to hear scientific information and understand the gravity of it.  In this case, he clearly understood the dangers of COVID — AND HE CHOSE NOT TO LEAD (or even HELP) THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

What this shows me is that Trump’s “salesman” persona most definitely includes intentionally playing the buffoon, so he can escape responsibility or disguise his true intent. (This is even more obvious in his attempts to obfuscate the truth as he has been questioned about his statements).

More importantly it shows that his basic nature and way of being in the world moves beyond narcissistic self-interest to outright maliciousness and flagrant disregard for the people he has sworn to serve.

He has been (and still is) willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of American lives so he and his buddies can squeeze a bit more opportunistic cash out of the stock market before the inevitable belly-up happens.  It is perfectly clear that the panic he wishes to avoid is stock market panic – not the panic and worry of most people in the United States.

He has shown himself willing to delay mask orders and restrictions in public spaces to have yet another rally –damn the deaths, damn the hunger, damn the evictions. 

Trump has chosen: NOT to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to produce more PPE for domestic use. NOT to encourage strategic testing so we can understand where the virus is and make efforts to contain it. to actively DISCOURAGE mask use. to encourage school openings but NOT assure financial resources to protect teachers and students.

Trump has shown his true colors again and again.  These tapes from the Woodward interviews serve as a magnifying glass to clarify what we thought he was saying.

And knowing he’s less stupid makes it perfectly clear that he is more evil.

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The best comparison I’ve found so far of what Trump knew and said privately with what he said publicly is here at FactCheck.org.

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