The Press Conference Republican Voters Have Wanted to See for Years
May 31, 2016
RUSH: Well, that’s what you’ve all wanted. That’s what everybody’s been asking for I don’t know how long. That was a press conference. That was a press conference. That was the kind of press conference Republicans voters have been dying to see for who knows how many years.
Greetings, my friends. Great to have you here, and great to be back. A short busy broadcast week. Rush Limbaugh back at it. It is 800-282-2882 if you want to be on the program; the email address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
Say what you will about Donald Trump — how many years have people been begging for a Republican to just once take on the media the way Trump did? All the way from the premise, to the details, to the motivation, he took ’em all on. And the piece de resistance is some journalist said, “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump –” and, by the way, these people in the media, they may hate the guy, but they cannot stop covering him.
There are a couple things in the Trump Stack today that are gonna force me — not force — have, I should say, inspired me to do another in-depth explanation of why all this is happening. Why Trump is happening. Why Trump is working. Trump’s relationship with the media, what is sustaining it. How it is that Trump is succeeding in getting a bunch of people that literally hate him to help him out. It’s fascinating.
Folks, it’s a fascinating case study in politics and sociology, psychology, pop culturism, post whatever modernism, it’s an amazing thing, and I’m gonna do my best to explain it because it’s fascinating to me. It’s literally fascinating to me.
RUSH: Now, back to this Trump press conference, if you didn’t see it, if you didn’t hear it, we’re working on audio sound bites now. We’re an editor short today so we’ll get them up as quickly as we can. We only got one guy editing. When we have two guys editing it would only take half the time it’s gonna take now.
But, anyway, the piece de resistance — you thought I lost my place, but I didn’t, because I never do. Near the end of it a frustrated journalist (paraphrasing), “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, is it gonna be this way, are you gonna be attacking us after you become president?”
“Yes, it is. Because you are the most dishonest people, political press the most dishonest people I know. You know it and I know it. The press is dishonest, but the political press is especially dishonest.”
And then Jim Acosta, I think it was, CNN (paraphrasing), “Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, do you object to scrutiny? You seem like you didn’t even like scrutiny, but you’re seeking the office of president of the United States, how do you think –“
“I don’t mind scrutiny. What I don’t like is lies. You can scrutinize me all day long but you set up false premises. You state things about me that are not true. Then you run stories on that. That’s why I’m out here trying to correct the record.” And then Trump says, “By the way, I’ve seen you, you’re among the worst. You’re at ABC, right? You’re the worst. You’re a sleaze.” And I’m thinking the people at home watching this — (laughing) ’cause, folks, in the age of internet trolling, manners are out the window. It’s a waste of time asking for manners here. Because, remember, in a war the aggressor sets the rules and I’m guaranteeing you that Trump thinks the media are the aggressors here.
He was asked even about that, “Are you gonna be critical even of Republicans trying to unify –” “If they attack me, yes. Somebody comes after me, maybe not as much if they’re Republican, but I’m still gonna go after ’em, of course I am.” But the media, the media totally wants Hillary Clinton to win, but they’re so conflicted. The cable networks, since this thing ended, have been devoted to the press conference and how Trump was mean to them and how Trump insulted them and how Trump criticized them. And they’re now doing all these introspective panel discussions on what does it all mean and what kind of deranged guy is Trump.
Even the New York Times. Folks, the New York Times has a story today. This is, in fact, the foundation of the great dissertation I have coming up to explain much of what’s going on, analyze it. Well, not so much explain, I don’t know how many questions there are, but I’m going to try to unravel why some of this is happening, what it really means for those of you who are just watching it casually.
They’ve got two stories here on how the Times is actually apologizing to its readers for being unable to balance coverage in favor of Hillary. If Trump were any other Republican, they would have practically destroyed him by now and they’d be worried about rehabbing Hillary’s image and building her up. But she’s so unexciting, she’s so dull, she’s so scandal ridden, they’ve got nothing to work with. All they can do is try to destroy Trump, but they don’t know how. Because they didn’t make Trump, they can’t destroy Trump.
And everybody dealing with Trump — including Bill Kristol and everybody else trying to take him out — is making the big mistake of trying to plug Trump into the age-old political handbook. Trump’s not part of that. You don’t deal with Trump in the standard, political handbook way on policy and issues and things like that. That’s not the way to separate Trump supporters from Trump. It isn’t gonna work.
“Television Networks Struggle to Provide Equal Airtime in the Era of Trump.” Let me tell you what the upshot of this story is. I’m not gonna read the whole five pages to you because I don’t need to. I can make the complex understandable. I can tell you in one paragraph what the New York Times takes five pages to tell you. Ready? The upshot of this is Trump’s constant access to media and Trump’s unpredictability is frustrating Hillary and the Drive-Bys’ capacity to shape and control the narrative.
They are unable to write the daily soap opera script as they have become accustomed to being able to do. They’re unable to do it because Trump is so unpredictable. They’ll write a script, they’ll write a narrative for the day and Trump will go out and do an appearance and blow it to smithereens, at the same time blowing their plans. Then Hillary is frustrating, ’cause there’s nothing to cover. All there is with Hillary is emails and shady financial dealings and Mao pantsuits and basic incompetence and boredom and a total lack of excitement.
So there’s no way that they can write a narrative every day that destroys Trump and builds up Hillary because… See, the first mistake in the New York Times is worrying about granting Trump access. They’re not “granting” Trump access. Trump is commanding access. Trump is taking access. Trump is dictating the daily narrative, as this press conference today on his donations to the vets and to various groups illustrate. What got all this started… Don’t forget.
This all started when the Washington Post published an article last week right before the Memorial Day weekend — which is a typical Drive-By Media trick. Whenever they want to destroy anybody or take a hit on somebody, they do it at a time when even if there is a response, nobody sees it, or very few. So the Washington Post published an article last week right before the Memorial Day weekend started in which they claimed, essentially, that Trump was lying about having raised $6 million in that fundraiser he held in lieu of going to the GOP debate before the Hawkeye Cauci.
And it turns out, lo and behold, that the Washington Post was right after all. Trump didn’t raise $6 million for veterans groups,he only raised $5.6 million. Only raised $5.6 million. And, by the way, by the time he gets through, it will be over $6 million. Money is still coming in. Our buddy Jim Kallstrom of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, indicated to a very disappointed CNN that Trump donated $1.1 million to them last week or last couple of weeks ago. But, anyway, they started out with this.
They make some factual misrepresentations that Trump is lying about all the money he’s raised for the vets. They claim that Trump claims he’s raised $6 million or whatever it is and they go out and they’re doing what they can to try to convince people that Trump’s lying about it, that he hasn’t raised that much — and, even worse, that if he has raised that much, he hasn’t passed it on. He’s holding on to it. He hasn’t donated it all. All of these insinuations and allegations were the Washington Post piece.
And Trump felt the need to correct the record today and did so in his own inimitable way, which basically attacked the media for dishonesty and corruption. And the thing is he stood there for, what, 45 minutes? I mean, he didn’t hide, didn’t run away from it, answered every question. He just took them on. They have no complaint. They can never say Trump avoids them. They can never say Trump does this or that to try to evade any kind of scrutiny, even though he got that question about scrutiny.
But the New York Times… This is actually kind of funny, I think, because they’re worried that Trump’s constant access to the media and his unpredictability is frustrating Hillary. Hillary doesn’t know how to deal with this. Hillary doesn’t know how to counterprogram Trump, if you will. Hillary doesn’t know how to go out and write her own narrative of the day. Hillary doesn’t know whether to focus on herself or to criticize Trump or to go after Crazy Bernie. She doesn’t know what to do. And the press doesn’t, either.
The New York Times is admitting here that their capacity, their ability to shape and control the narrative — the soap opera script — every day, is almost impossible because of Trump. And so the Times, in this story, is struggling to figure out some kind of Fairness Doctrine solution to the problem. I kid you not. They’re trying to find a way they can balance this, because Trump is generating so much more coverage. They’re not starting it. The press isn’t. Trump’s just out doing what he’s doing, and they are compelled to cover it.
They cannot not cover it. But there is no… Hillary Clinton calls a press conference; it’s no big deal. There isn’t a mad dash by countless members of the media to get there and see what she’s gonna say. There is no comparative excitement, unpredictability, drama, entertainment, you name it. There isn’t any comparison. Now, not to say Trump doesn’t have any competition, because he does. That’s a crucial factor in all of this, too. Now, the Times here, they’re hand-wringing. They’re worried. They’re complaining. (paraphrased)
“It’s not fair! It’s not fair! We can’t control the media ’cause of Trump.” The problem is — and they don’t want to say this, but the problem is — that Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is interesting. And Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is funny. Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is different. Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is drama. Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is unpredictable. All of that means, you can’t miss it.
You can’t roll the dice and not cover it, hoping that it isn’t anything. You have to be there, as the media, and you have to hope that he’s gonna attack you as the media. But Hillary, on the other hand? Dull, totally colorless, mistake prone, scandal ridden, because Hillary doesn’t have any natural talents. Hillary doesn’t have any natural connection to people. Hillary doesn’t have any charisma, magnetism. All of that has to be manufactured by the media.
Hillary needs to be hyper-scripted while, at the same time, have limited availability in a campaign that’s about spontaneity and entertainment. This has become a pop culture campaign. Like it or not, that’s what it is. And that’s why so many in the political world are having trouble understanding it, dealing with it, being involved with it, defining it, what have you. But Hillary Clinton has this problem. The more she’s seen, the more she’s heard, the worse she does. This is not arguable.
This has been proven over and over again in polling data alone. The less she speaks, the less she’s seen, the higher her numbers go. But with Trump out there all the time, spontaneous and entertaining, the press has to do something to keep her in the game. So they hyper-script her appearances, they hyper-script the coverage, all with limited availability because Hillary has to maintain some restraint. Otherwise, it’s a potential total implosion.
RUSH: The New York Times, also from over the weekend: “Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism.” There’s even a photo of Hitler and a photo of Mussolini in the New York Times article. They never call Trump a fascist. They just claim that Trump’s campaign and that Trump’s rise to popularity is a sign of a growing global fascism. Do you think that story would ever be written about Barack Obama and any other governing world leaders today?
Here you have a guy who’s nothing more than a candidate right now, and the New York Times, over the weekend — the Memorial Day weekend — with a story: “Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate Over Global Fascism.” Never mind that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s positions are far more in line with the German National Socialism approach than Trump could even dream of being.
Forget, you know, that the Nazis were National Socialists. National Socialists! I mean, we’re closer to having that currently in the White House than anywhere on the campaign trail right now on the Republican side. And now we find out that Hillary Clinton’s campaign set up this veterans against Trump protest to begin with. We find this out after the fact. The media could have found out before it happened, but, no, no, no, no!
RUSH: Let me get started with these Trump sound bites. We opened the program talking about this presser, and it was a press conference for the ages, and it’s one of these press conferences that many people on the Republican side have been desperately hoping to see someday, sometime, with a Republican under assault judged to be an unfair assault, finally being ripped into by the Republican, the media being ripped into here for the way they’re going about their business. So this is at Trump Tower. Major Garrett, CBS, chief White House correspondent, “How personally involved were you in deciding which military organizations were to be recipients and how much they got and how did you prioritize ’em?”
TRUMP: I wasn’t too involved in picking the organizations other than I gave a million dollars to the Marine law enforcement, Marine, they are fabulous people. They honored me last year. I knew them. I was going to give it to three companies or three groups, and we couldn’t vet them quickly, and so I gave it to the Marine. And if you look at that number, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation is a fabulous group, and I didn’t have to go through a big vetting process with them, because I was going to split the million-dollar check up among three or four different groups, and in the end I just didn’t want to go through the process of having to vet all those different groups.
If you recall, the Harry Reid letter that he wrote to the former CEO of Clear Channel demanding that I be made to apologize and maybe forced to resign over unfairly calling a veteran a phony soldier. We auctioned that Harry Reid letter, and I agreed to match whatever it raised. And $4 million was donated to the Marine Corps Law, 4.2, actually. It sold on eBay for $2.1 million, and I had agreed to match it, so it was $4.2 million to MC-LEF. And I was at the event that Trump was honored. He was sitting, for what it’s worth, two tables over. But I was at that event, just to attest that it happened.
I want you to hear, Kallstrom was on CNN today. Carol Costello was hoping, hoping that Kallstrom would somehow contradict what Trump had said. She said, “Mr. Trump pledged $1 million of his own money to one organization. Was it yours?”
KALLSTROM: We did get a million dollars from Donald. He’s been a big supporter of veterans groups for close to four decades now, Carol. I knew for some time that we were gonna be the recipient. I didn’t know the actual amount. But I guess it was about a week ago. Don’t hold me to that. Some week ago, ten days ago, and we actually received money.
RUSH: Yeah. And I was there. I think it was like two Aprils ago. Maybe it’s in March. But it’s always at the Waldorf-Astoria in the grand ballroom there. And Trump was the award winner and the recipient that year. One more question from Carol Costello and answer.
COSTELLO: So I was just wondering if you found out in January shortly after the event if your organization would be a beneficiary?
KALLSTROM: Well, there were hints in that direction, and he’s always been a big supporter of us. We give 98% of the money donated, which is a very high number, that we’re very proud of. We have one part-time employee. And basically all the money goes to the children of those who’ve lost their life in the line of duty.
RUSH: Yeah, Marines and sometimes they expand it to Army and Air Force, sometimes Secret Service, Oklahoma City bombing, all of the protective agencies that were housed in the Murrah building, MC-LEF went into action then. But they provide scholarships to the children of Marines killed in action. I was practically there in the living room when this foundation was formed in Rockville Centre out on Long Island. And they are a great bunch of people. They do have a 98% pass-through, and I know who the one employee is, and he’s one of the greatest guys in the world.
But what difference does it — Trump does his veterans deal on the night of the Hawkeye Cauci primary debate that was on Fox, you know, Trump skipped it, did a veterans fundraiser. So here’s Carol Costello (imitating Costello), “Well, well, Mr. Kallstrom, did Trump, did he decide way back in January the organization that gets –” What they’re trying to say is that they have forced Trump into donating money that he never intended to donate, he was just saying that he was going to. That’s their premise, and they’re trying to catch Trump in all that, he knows it, and it’s fed up with it. And that set the tone for the press conference. Back to the next press conference bite. This is Major Garrett following up. “Don’t you believe you should be accountable to the people?”
TRUMP: I’m totally accountable, but I didn’t want to have credit for it. We have given to groups that are unbelievable groups, and honestly, I wish you could hear the phone calls and see the letters, they are so happy. And I’m happy to do it. I didn’t want the credit for it, but it was very unfair that the press treated us so badly. Go ahead.
MAJOR GARRETT: To follow up on that, you keep calling us the dishonest press, the disgusting press.
TRUMP: Generally speaking, that’s a hundred percent true. Go ahead.
MAJOR GARRETT: I disagree with that, sir. And if I can ask you this question, it seems as though you’re resistant to scrutiny, the kind of scrutiny that comes with running for president of the United States.
TRUMP: Excuse me. I’ve watched you on television. You’re a real beauty. When I raise money for the veterans, and it’s a massive amount of money, find out how much Hillary Clinton’s given to the veterans. Nothing.
RUSH: That’s exactly right, because Hillary Clinton doesn’t give anybody anything. With Hillary Clinton it’s all incoming. There’s no outgoing, there’s no outflow with Hillary Clinton. But Trump is right. Okay, so you think I deserve scrutiny. Where is the scrutiny of Bernie Sanders? Where’s the scrutiny of Hillary Clinton? Where is one half of the interest in this whole email scandal of hers that you’re showing in whether I’ve donated to the vets or not?
Look, everybody knows the game here. This is why people love what Trump is doing here. He’s not standing up there taking it. He’s firing right back at ’em. He’s letting them know he knows it’s an unlevel playing field, he’s gonna treat them accordingly.
RUSH: Back to the audio sound bites. We still have some to go here on the Trump press conference that concluded — knowingly, by the way. The message was apparently received. The Trump press conference, 45 minutes in length, ended 15 minutes before the EIB Network began today. Right on schedule. So now we are up to number 25. This is… I told you about this. It’s where he calls a reporter a sleaze. He’s talking with… It’s a reporter Q&A. It’s an unidentified female reporter and ABC correspondent Tom Llamas. Tom Llamas is who Trump calls a sleaze.
TRUMP: It was the biggest crowd you could have had, because it was all cordoned off, and they weren’t allowed to have any more people than they had. So instead of saying, “Trump made a speech in front of a packed crowd,” they said, “Trump was disappointed,” because I didn’t have millions of people going from Jefferson to Washington. I mean, give me a break. It’s just honestly… It’s dishonest reporting. Yeah, go ahead.
REPORTER: How are veterans to believe that you reported…?
TRUMP: I’m not looking for credit. But what I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, to have people say — like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC. He’s a sleaze in my book.
LLAMAS: Why am I…?
TRUMP: You’re a sleaze, because you know the facts, and you know the facts well.
RUSH: Why am I a sleaze? It’s a badge of honor, by the way. Don’t be hurt for the media. It’s a badge of honor to be called a name by Trump. I guarantee you what’s his name, Tom Llamas, at the bars and restaurants he’s always gonna be The Sleaze now. His wife will call him The Sleaze, if it’s married, I don’t know. But his colleagues, everybody will call him, “Hey, Sleaze, how you doing tonight, buddy?” It’s a badge of honor to have your name called by Trump and be made a nickname.
What Trump is talking about here, he had a big rally in Washington where there were a bunch of bikers, there was a bikers rally for Memorial Day for vets, and Trump is claiming that he would have had just as big a crowd as Martin Luther King had, but they cordoned the area off and they wouldn’t let nearly as many people get in that wanted in, and the press didn’t report that. Instead, the press reported that Trump was disappointed at the small crowd. And that’s what that sound bite was all about.
(paraphrasing Trump) “I wasn’t disappointed. They wouldn’t let the people in that wanted to get there. Could have been big, could have been as big as Martin Luther King.” Unidentified female reporter: “You yourself recently reacted against what you called a spoiler independent candidate in this race. Yet earlier in the primaries you didn’t rule out an independent run of your own.”
TRUMP: Kristol’s the one, he’s the last one. Don’t forget, he said Trump will never run. The guy’s not a smart person. He said, Donald Trump will never run. Remember? You remember? I actually blame you. Why do you put this guy on television? I see him on the different shows. He’s got no credibility. Let me tell you. These people are losers.
CAMERON: When you refer to some Republicans and conservatives as losers —
TRUMP: No, I didn’t say that. I said Bill Kristol is a loser. And I’ll tell you why. He has called every single move — take a look, on me. “He’s going to lose this state.” I win in a landslide. Wait a minute, Carl. I didn’t say everybody. Many. But I didn’t say everybody.
RUSH: Carl Cameron, what he wanted to ask here, “How you gonna unify the Republican Party when you’re out there referring to some Republicans, conservatives as losers?” “I’m just talking about Kristol, that’s all, Kristol’s been wrong in everything he said about me.”
The post-press coverage of this, one little bite here from CNN. This is At This Hour, John Berman, Kate Bolduan, they had this exchange over the Trump press conference and the money he donated. The point they’re saying is the money to be donated isn’t the story. So they’re announcing they’re changing the narrative on this.
BERMAN: The headline at the end of this event wasn’t the money he raised or how many groups got it, but it was just how petulant and peevish he was, saying the press should be ashamed of itself for asking questions like, “How much did you raise and where did it go?” I want to go to CNN’s —
BOLDUAN: On a factual basis, those are pretty simple questions you should answer when you’re raising money, when you’re raising money for charity.
RUSH: Right. Seriously, how many questions do the Clintons get about the two billion in their Crime Family Foundation and all those donations from foreign investors and whoever they may be? No, no, no, no, no. Do not do that. I’m not defending Trump by saying, “Hey, Trump did it, but why don’t you go get the Clintons who did it.” That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying these people have two different sets of rules. They’ve got two different sets of standards for their scrutiny.
And the upshot of it is that the Clintons don’t get any. Whatever they say goes on with their foundation, that’s what’s reported, and whatever they say happens at Clinton Global Initiative, that’s what they say and that’s what gets reported. But the Clintons aren’t under any scrutiny. The Clintons won’t believe that. The Clintons believe they’re under more scrutiny than anybody’s ever been, but because of the way they do things they invite that scrutiny.
So, anyway, this was John Berman at CNN announcing they’re changing the narrative here. The narrative is no longer what Trump donated and to whom, but what a peevish, small-minded guy he is to be treating us in the press this way. Now, back to the press conference. Reporter: “Is this what it’s gonna be like covering you, if you’re president? Are we gonna be having this kind of confrontation in the pressroom at the White House?”
TRUMP: Yeah, it is gonna be like this, David. If the press writes false stories, like they did with this, because, you know, half of you are amazed that I raised all of this money. If the press writes false stories like they did, then we have to read probably libelous stories, or certainly close, in the newspapers, and the people know the stories are false, I’m gonna continue to attack the press. Look, I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest. I will say that. Okay, thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.
RUSH: Thank you, thank you, you dishonest liars, thank you, thank you for showing up.