'Kind of a mind trap': Here's how Trump endlessly inserts himself into every conversation
In a May 20 piece for the Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Robert Costa discuss President Donald Trump’s assessment of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field — from characterizing Sen. Bernie Sanders as “crazy” but energetic to belittling former Vice President Joe Biden as “Sleepy Joe.” And whether he is serving as “the nation’s omnipresent political commentator” or discussing the Kentucky Derby, the Post reporters stress, Trump has a way of endlessly inserting himself into a variety of conservations.
Parker and Costa note that in recent weeks, Trump has “instructed the French government on how to fight the fire that engulfed Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral” and “disparaged” what he sees as political correctness in the Kentucky Derby. Trump, they write, “routinely acts as TV critic—taking aim at ‘Saturday Night Live’ and other shows he doesn’t like—or as sports commentator, such as when he congratulated Trump-supporting player Nick Bosa for being No. 2 in the NFL draft.”
The Washington Post journalists quote writer Bret Easton Ellis as saying that Trump “brings you into his narrative. You can’t resist. It’s kind of a mind trap.”
Parker and Costa quote Trump biographer Tim O’Brien as saying that Trump is “constantly narrating his own reality television series, and it now just happens to be the presidency.”
Trump achieved fame in the reality television field when he was the star of “The Apprentice” during the 2000s. That show made Trump a frequent topic of conversation during the George W. Bush years, but in 2019—now that he’s president of the United States—Trump enjoys even more visibility.
“Trump’s naked eagerness to make any story or occasion about himself stems from his self-conception as both a star and a producer, a director and a writer, according to friends, advisers and critics,” Parker and Costa write. “And now, they say, he is able to deploy the platform of the presidency to amplify that vision of himself as a leading man.”
Reflecting on the 2020 Democratic presidential field, Trump has posted that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s campaign has fallen “like a rock”—and that Sen. Elizabeth Warren “is probably out.” And Trump recently tweeted, “Looks to me like it’s going to be SleepyCreepy Joe over Crazy Bernie. Everyone else is fading fast!”
Parker and Costa conclude their Washington Post piece by citing an example of “Trump’s sheer pervasiveness.” Earlier this month, they observe, Trump took to Twitter to rail against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and the “stollen two years” of his presidency. It was an obvious typo: Trump meant to say “stolen,” whereas “stollen” is a German sweet bread made with dried fruits and nuts that is popular around Christmastime in Germany. And thanks to a mere typo on Trump’s part, German stollen bread became the subject of articles published online this month.