President Donald Trump went to Arizona on Tuesday night and delivered what has now become a trademark speech: Full of invective, victimhood and fact-free retellings of recent historical events.
I went through the transcript of Trump’s speech – all 77 minutes – and picked out his 57 most outrageous lines, in chronological order. They’re below.
1. “And just so you know from the Secret Service, there aren’t too many people outside protesting, OK. That I can tell you.”
This is, literally, the first line of his speech. Trump is obsessed with the idea that the opposition to him is overstated while the support for him is understated. (They won’t turn the cameras around and show the size of my crowds!) CNN’s Saba Hamedy, who was on the scene of the protests, said that thousands of people were on the streets of Phoenix.
2. “A lot of people in here, a lot of people pouring right now. They can get them in. Whatever you can do, fire marshals, we’ll appreciate it.”
So many people love me – it’s hard to fit them all in the building! But, try!
3. “You know I’d love it if the cameras could show this crowd, because it is rather incredible. It is incredible.”
For the record: The cameras always show the crowd. Have for months and years.
4. “We went to center stage almost from day one in the debates. We love those debates.”
The election ended 287 days ago, as of last night.
5. “Our movement is a movement built on love.”
For a second, you might have been tricked into thinking that Trump was going to return to the message of unity and justice he laid out at the start of his Afghanistan speech on Monday night. Spoiler alert: He wasn’t.
6. “We all share the same home, the same dreams and the same hopes for a better future. A wound inflicted upon one member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all.”
The second sentence of this is verbatim from his speech on Monday. But as the rest of Trump’s speech shows, these are just words to him. He reads them but doesn’t understand them. Or believe them.
7. “I see all those red hats and white hats. It’s all happening very fast. It’s called: ‘Make America Great Again.’”
Trump conflates a call to unity and an end to divisiveness with supporting him. The country is coming together because lots of people at a campaign rally have “MAGA” hats on!
8. “Just like (the media doesn’t) want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists, and the KKK.”
[narrator voice]: He didn’t.
9. “So here is my first statement when I heard about Charlottesville – and I have a home in Charlottesville, a lot of people don’t know.”
Follow this logic: The media says I didn’t condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. I did – because I have a house there, which many people don’t know.
10. “So here’s what I said, really fast, here’s what I said on Saturday: ‘We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia’ – this is me speaking. ‘We condemn in the strongest, possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence.’ That’s me speaking on Saturday.”
This is what he actually said (italics/bolding mine): “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
Which is not the same thing. At all.
11. “I think I can’t do much better, right?”
No, you could have done much, much better. Just ask your own party – the vast majority of which condemned your Charlottesville comments. Also, Trump is always doing great!
12. “I hope they’re showing how many people are in this room, but they won’t”
[narrator voice]: They were.
13. “I call them anarchists. Because, believe me, we have plenty of anarchists. They don’t want to talk about the anarchists.”
Believe me, I know anarchists. The best anarchists. Bigly.
14. “If you’re reading a story about somebody, you don’t know. You assume it’s honest, because it’s like the failing New York Times, which is like so bad. It’s so bad.”
I have no idea what Trump’s point is here. But MAN, the New York Times is failing, right?!?!?
15. “Or the Washington Post, which I call a lobbying tool for Amazon, OK, that’s a lobbying tool for Amazon.”
Amazon doesn’t own the Washington Post. Jeff Bezos does.
16. “Or CNN, which is so bad and so pathetic, and their ratings are going down.”
17. “I mean, CNN is really bad, but ABC this morning – I don’t watch it much, but I’m watching in the morning, and they have little George Stephanopoulos talking to Nikki Haley, right? Little George.”
A few things: 1. Trump watches TV constantly. 2. “Little George”: Trump as bully-in-chief.
18. “I didn’t say I love you because you’re black, or I love you because you’re white, or I love you because you’re from Japan, or you’re from China, or you’re from Kenya, or you’re from Scotland or Sweden. I love all the people of our country.”
Interesting that he name-checked Kenya here.
19. “How about – how about all week they’re talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside. Where are they? Well, it’s hot out. It is hot. I think it’s too warm.”
It was warm! (105 or so.) But, again, multiple media reports – including CNN’s – show that there were thousands of protesters.
20. “You know, they show up in the helmets and the black masks, and they’ve got clubs and they’ve got everything – Antifa!”
My favorite line of the speech – especially “Antifa!” which Trump shouts. (Also, you must watch this until the end. Trust me.)
21. “Then I said, racism is evil. Do they report that I said that racism is evil?”
[narrator voice]: They did.
22. “Now they only choose, you know, like a half a sentence here or there and then they just go on this long rampage, or they put on these real lightweights all around a table that nobody ever heard of, and they all say what a bad guy I am.”
This was the second paragraph of CNN’s story about Trump’s August 14 statement on Charlottesville:
“Racism is evil – and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said in response to the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
23. “But, I mean do you ever see anything – and then you wonder why CNN is doing relatively poorly in the ratings”
24. “But with me, they wanted me to say it, and I said it. And I said it very clearly, but they refused to put it on.”
The issue was that Trump said – on Saturday, August 12, and then again on Tuesday, August 15 – that the violence and hate on display in Charlottesville was “on many sides” and then that “both sides” were responsible for it. And, the news media didn’t condemn Trump for that; it was his own party who did that.
25. “I hit him with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything. I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there, let’s say. KKK, we have KKK. I got them all.”
This is revealing in a way Trump doesn’t mean it to be. He views the naming of the KKK and the neo-Nazis who were responsible for this violence as a box-checking exercise. I said their names – so what’s the problem?! (Of course,Trump didn’t call out these groups in his initial statement on Saturday, which was the problem.)
26. “So then the last one, on Tuesday – Tuesday I did another one: ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America.’
Trump was actually quoting from his Saturday remarks in these Tuesday comments. And, in that same August 15 press conference, he said this: “I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at – you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.”
27. “So that was my words.”
Over 2,000 of them in fact. All dedicated to rewriting what he actually said about Charlottesville.
28. “Now, you know, I was a good student. I always hear about the elite. You know, the elite. They’re elite? I went to better schools than they did. I was a better student than they were. I live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment, and I live in the White House, too, which is really great.”
Always remember this fundamental truth about Trump: He has always felt like the guy on the outside looking in, the guy people wouldn’t accept in their social circles and wouldn’t let into their club. Stuffing it in all of their faces is the primal motivation for everything in his life. Hence all the bragging about what he has and what he’s done. Related: Trump and Ric Flair have a lot in common – including the hair.
29. “The words were perfect. They only take out anything they can think of, and for the most part, all they do is complain. But they don’t put on those words. And they don’t put on me saying those words.”
Trump is not sorry. Not ever. He has convinced himself that what he said initially about Charlottesville was “perfect.” And, I realize this may be getting repetitive, but the media reported every word Trump said about Charlottesville. Period. The end.
30. “And yes, by the way – and yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.”
This is demagogic language from Trump about the media. “They” are trying to rob us of “our history and our heritage.” You don’t have to look very hard to see racial and ethnic coding in that language.
31. “I really think they don’t like our country. I really believe that.”
Trump’s claim that the media doesn’t “like” America is hugely offensive. Offensive and dangerous. Imagine ANY other president saying anything close to this – and what the reaction would be.
32. “Look back there, the live red lights. They’re turning those suckers off fast out there. They’re turning those lights off fast.”
[narrator voice]: They weren’t.
33. “CNN does not want its falling viewership to watch what I’m saying tonight, I can tell you.”
34. “If I don’t have social media, I probably would not be standing.”
35. “They’ll say, ‘Donald Trump is in a Twitter-storm.’ These are sick people.”
Your guess is as good as mine.
36. “You would think – you would think they’d want to make our country great again, and I honestly believe they don’t. I honestly believe it.”
The media, in Trump’s telling, is rooting against the country. Let me say again: Rhetoric like this is offensive, dishonest and dangerous.
37. “The New York Times essentially apologized after I won the election, because their coverage was so bad, and it was so wrong, and they were losing so many subscribers that they practically apologized.”
[narrator voice] They didn’t.
38. “I must tell you, Fox has treated me fairly. Fox treated me fairly.”
“I am watching two clown announcers on @FoxNews as they try to build up failed presidential candidate #LittleMarco. Fox News is in the bag!” – Donald Trump, March 2016
39. “How good is Hannity? How good is Hannity? And he’s a great guy, and he’s an honest guy. And ‘Fox and Friends in the Morning’ is the best show, and it’s the absolute, most honest show, and it’s the show I watch.”
Simple truth: Trump likes Hannity and “Fox and Friends” because they say nice things about him. He likes people who like him.
40. “Oh, those cameras are going off. Wow. That’s the one thing, they’re very nervous to have me on live television.”
[narrator voice] They weren’t. And, they aren’t.
41. “I’m a person that wants to tell the truth. I’m an honest person, and what I’m saying, you know is exactly right.”
According to the Washington Post, Trump has made more than 1,000 misstatements since being sworn in as president on January 20.
42. “You’ve got people outside, but not very many.”
He is obsessed with crowd size. Obsessed.
43. “So, was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?”
He was actually convicted for contempt of court after refusing to stop his long-running targeting of Hispanics.
44. “He should have had a jury, but you know what? I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?”
The “pardon” tease! Make sure to stay tuned for next week’s episode!
45. “It was like 115 degrees. I’m out signing autographs for an hour. I was there. That was a hot day.”
It was hot. But I am still very popular. Extremely popular. Believe me.
(And for what it’s worth, CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak emails: “It was 106 degrees and he spent no more than 25 minutes shaking hands.”)
46. “But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
“Let me say it again, no more government shutdowns.” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, August 2015
47. “‘Extreme vetting’ – I came up with that term.”
…he says proudly.
48. “And we have to speak to Mitch and we have to speak to everybody.”
Trump hasn’t spoken to McConnell in weeks.
49. “But, you know, they all said, Mr. President, your speech was so good last night, please, please, Mr. President don’t mention any names. So I won’t. I won’t. No I won’t vote – one vote away, I will not mention any names. Very presidential, isn’t’ it? Very presidential.”
This is Trump taking a shot at John McCain, who is currently battling brain cancer, for voting against the repeal and replace health care legislation. It’s also Trump showing how closely he reads press coverage and how he likes to openly flout suggestions of being more “presidential.”
50. “And nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who’s weak on borders, weak on crime, so I won’t talk about him. Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is.”
Jeff Flake is a sitting Republican senator. Trump is running him down in his home state at a campaign rally less than a week removed from touting one of his primary challengers on Twitter.
51. “Did you see Gruber got fired yesterday? He got fired because he defrauded somebody or something. Something very bad happened. Check it out. Something happened.”
Jonathan Gruber didn’t get “fired.” The Vermont attorney general’s office settled a case with him after a two-plus year investigation into whether he had committed billing fraud.
52. “One vote – speak to your senator, please. Speak to your senator.”
McCain cast one of the deciding votes on health care. But he’s not going to name names!
53. “I think we’ve gotten more than anybody, including Harry Truman, who was number one, but they will tell you we’ve got none.”
This claim is – wait for it – not entirely true.
54. “But Kim Jong Un, I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much. Respect that fact.”
Respect. That. Fact.
55. “I don’t believe that any president has accomplished as much as this president in the first six or seven months. I really don’t believe it.”
Trump believes that by saying things, he wills them into existence and truth.
56. “They’re trying to take away our culture. They are trying to take away our history.”
57. “So I think we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point, OK? Probably.”
Way to throw a major policy pronouncement into the end of a speech while negotiations are ongoing!