Donald Trump Still Doesn’t Know the Words to “God Bless America,” and More News We Learned This Week

Lynn Yaeger reviews all of the news from the geopolitical scene this week.

Who’s that stepping up to the microphones? Surprise! It’s President Trump, who, despite the fact that his last press conference was way back in February 2017, is now in a very chatty mood. On Friday, getting ready to board Air Force One to attend the G7 meeting in Canada, the President unloaded on everything from the greatness of Rudy Giuliani to the mysterious illness of Melania, the travails of Scott Pruitt to the hoop skills of Dennis Rodman, and to top it off, he wondered aloud why the other G7 members don’t want to welcome Russia back into the fold and make it the G8 again. The next morning, after skedaddling early from the Quebec conference, he held another impromptu gabfest, an unhinged affair during which he claimed that his relationship with the other world leaders, with whom he has been openly hostile, is a “10”; that it was Obama’s fault that Russia invaded Crimea; and that he would know almost immediately if Kim Jong-un is his kind of guy: “Within the first minute, I’ll know. My touch, my feel—that’s what I do.” He blathered on at such length that at one point you could hear a functionary off-camera calling out, “Sir, you’ve got a plane to catch.”

From high in the sky—apparently on Air Force One you aren’t saddled with airplane mode—he tweeted, “I am on my way to Singapore where we have a chance to achieve a truly wonderful result for North Korea and the World. It will certainly be an exciting day and I know that Kim Jong-un will work very hard to do something that has rarely been done before . . . Create peace and great prosperity for his land. I look forward to meeting him and have a feeling that this one-time opportunity will not be wasted!”

And speaking of wasted: Last Sunday, Giuliani echoed the president’s famous January 2016 boast that he could waste—okay, shoot—someone on Fifth Avenue and not “lose any voters.” Rudy alleged that even if Trump “shot James Comey,” he couldn’t be arrested but “he’d be impeached the next day. Impeach him, and then you can do whatever you want to do to him.” That Rudy made this claim the same morning as the Parkland, Florida, students held their graduation ceremony did not faze the attorney-cum-spokesmodel.

In other firearm news, on Tuesday Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said that looking at the role of guns in schools was not a focus of the federal school safety commission. (You can’t make this stuff up.) And in further Giuliani news, on Thursday he spouted that when it comes to the Stormy Daniels imbroglio, Melania Trump “believes her husband.” To which the First Lady, who hasn’t been heard from much lately, snapped back through her spokesperson: “I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani.”

On Tuesday, another spokesperson, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, issued a terse email stating that Kelly Sadler, the staffer who had said that it doesn’t matter what Senator John McCain thinks because he is going to die soon, had finally been sacked. If you didn’t clock this, maybe it is because you were preoccupied by the Paul Manafort news: On Friday, Special counsel Robert Mueller filed new witness-tampering charges against Paul and his buddy, Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik. Mueller also asked a judge to revoke Manafort’s $10 million bail and put him in the pokey. Wow, Paul—what a choice! Flip and blab to Mueller, or rot in jail in the hopes of being pardoned by the President.

Maybe Kim Kardashian West will take up your cause? A week and a half ago, she showed up at the White House, pleading the case of nonviolent drug offender Alice Johnson, and on Wednesday, the president picked up his magic pen and pardoned Johnson. But clearly not everyone is as welcome in D.C. as Kimmie. When it appeared that some players of the winning NFL Philadelphia Eagles might pass on attending a White House reception in their honor, Trump disinvited them all, and said he would instead hold a hastily convened Celebration of America on the South Lawn of the White House. This sparsely attended party, which lasted less than 10 minutes on Tuesday, featured one anonymous guy in the crowd taking a knee, and another person screaming at the president, “Stop hiding behind the armed services and the national anthem!” The celebration also revealed that Donald Trump does not know the words to “God Bless America.”

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