President Donald Trump's conversation with the Associated Press was, in a word, unintelligible. The interview, which was conducted by AP's Julie Pace, revolved mostly around Trump's fast-approaching 100th day in office. The president continued to peddle some falsehoods, such as stating that the construction of his border wall will be inexpensive. However, no comment was quite as disturbing as Trump gloating about beating 9/11's television ratings.
Trump's obsession with ratings was apparent as he mentioned how his appearances produce more successful shows. "I have all the ratings for all those morning shows. When I go, they go double, triple," said Trump. "Chris Wallace, look back during the Army-Navy football game, I did his show that morning. It had 9.2 million people. It's the highest they've ever had."
The president continued pushing this claim as he appeared to characterize coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center as a benchmark for success. He claimed that his appearance on NBC's Face the Nation pulled more viewers than the Sept. 11 show. "On any, on air, [CBS 'Face the Nation' host John] Dickerson had 5.2 million people," said Trump. "It's the highest for 'Face the Nation' or as I call it, 'Deface the Nation.' It's the highest for 'Deface the Nation' since the World Trade Center. Since the World Trade Center came down. It's a tremendous advantage."
Trump's reduction of an American tragedy to a competition about viewers is troubling, but it's symptomatic of his incessant desire for attention and approval. Later in the interview, he blasted CNN for being in "third place" with ratings and claimed he's stopped watching because they treat him "so badly."
It's also not the first time Trump has demonstrated his obsession with ratings. While speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump managed to sneak in a remark about Arnold Schwarzenegger's alleged tanking of The Apprentice.