I am standing on a street corner in Manhattan in front of a bank, waiting for the Hampton Jitney to arrive. I am about 10 minutes early. The Jitney leaves right on time. So I get there early.
While I wait, I look through the bank window to a flat-screen TV inside on a far wall. On this TV, our President can be seen sitting at his desk, conducting a press conference. Behind him, standing silently, are generals and other officials. Mostly the focus is on the President. So the generals and the others get to be seen mostly from the necks down. On the screen are ties and medals. Can’t see who’s who.
I also can’t hear what is being said, but closed captioning is on and so Trump makes a gesture and nods and scowls or smiles and says something and then I read what he says.
I mention this because I don’t want you to think I’ve got this down exactly. But here goes.
“This refugee caravan will not be allowed in. There are Islamic terrorists in this caravan. They are a direct threat to the American people. And I will defend the American people from terrorists and others who will do us harm at all costs. Yes, Jed?”
“Do you know for a fact there are Islamic terrorists in this caravan?”
“Yes. I know it for a fact.” Trump turns to a neck-down person standing alongside him. “Mike, can I tell them? Is it classified? Is it okay to tell them? Yes? Okay, you tell them.”
Mike Pence: “I spoke to the President of Honduras last night and he told me there are terrorists in this caravan. Also the President of Guatemala. The terrorists organized this caravan.”
“So you know it for a fact?”
“Yes. It stands to reason. There are 7,000 people in this caravan. When you have that many people, and our border patrol tells us how many Islamic terrorists they have arrested crossing the border since January, which is
80, you can do the math and there are bound to be terrorists in there.”
Trump: “And murderers and drug dealers. And you know there are good people, too. But there are disabled people and old people, and they can’t keep up, so they drop by the wayside and this caravan just moves on, leaving them by the side of the road. It’s horrible. They don’t even care about these people. George?”
“So you know for a fact the terrorists organized this caravan?”
“Yes. We know it for a fact. And the Democrats. They organized it too. Phil?”
“Is this immediate 10% tax reduction for the middle class you are proposing, isn’t it just politics, posing it right now, two weeks before the election?”
Trump: “We gave them a big tax break before. Huge. We did a lot for them. But now, the economy is going so good, it’s even better. So we can give them another 10%. We couldn’t do it before. We gave them all we could at that time. But now we find there’s more. So now we give them more. I will have it proposed on Monday. Then, right after the election in two weeks, Congress will pass it into a law. Fred?”
“What about Saudi Arabia and the Khashoggi assassination?”
“Horrible. Worst cover-up in the history of cover-ups. I will leave it up to Congress to decide what to do. It should be bipartisan. I think we can get the Democrats and the Republicans to agree on what to do, don’t you think? They’ll tell me what they think. And then we’ll see what happens.”
I look up the street. The Jitney is arriving, five minutes early. It will leave right on time. It always does. The door is opening. I’m walking over.
Mr. Trump is still yammering away. So I don’t know what he said after this. And this is my report.