Politico's Annie Karni takes note of Trump's conspicuous contradictions:
*Trump has called journalist Bob Woodward’s book on his administration a work of "fiction" and a "scam," claiming that quotes in the book are "made up" and that the author is a "liar." At the same time … he is livid at his former economic adviser, Gary Cohn, and his former staff secretary, Rob Porter, for "leaking" to Woodward.
*He has covered all of his bases when it comes to his view of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, flip-flopping on whether Kim is a "worthy negotiator" or "obviously a mad man."
*One of Trump’s favorite boasts is that he has one of the "greatest memories of all time." But he has also simultaneously claimed not to be able to remember critical moments of his presidency, like having a one-on-one meeting with former FBI Director James Comey in the White House.
*He claimed he didn’t know anything about Woodward’s attempts to reach him, while also admitting in the same conversation that "Sen. Graham actually mentioned it quickly in one meeting."
*And when it comes to the media, Trump constantly rails against the "fake news media," branding journalists as "very dishonest people" while continuing to sit with journalists in the Oval Office and even praise some of his favorite punching bags mid-swing.
The last phenomenon was one of Joe McCarthy's behaviors. The Wisconsin demagogue would invite his journalistic victims for drinks — because McCarthy loved to drink — and whenever contemptuously rebuffed, he was genuinely puzzled. To him his anticommunist tirades, and the personal assaults attached to them, were nothing more than typical politics. And since reporters understood typical politics, thought McCarthy, surely they would accept him as nothing more than a typical politician. Most journalists didn't see McCarthyism that way.
The preceding contradictions, however, seem to me a more exemplary Trump; a confused, inadequate, addled mind — and not, as two former Trump allies imparted to Politico, that "he can sell two opposing viewpoints because he doesn’t see them as such." He would see them as such if his brain were capable of spotting garbled incongruities, or if his base even gently objected to them. But his brain is pathologically befogged, and his base is no more lucid than he. ("His supporters often soak up the contradictory claims just as readily as he spits them out, taking it all in stride," writes Ms. Karni.) So with farcical contradictions he proceeds — with wholesale obliviousness.