'Losing it?': MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace — and everyone else — is baffled by Trump's incomprehensible claim about homelessness

'Losing it?': MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace — and everyone else — is baffled by Trump's incomprehensible claim about homelessness

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace appeared stumped on Tuesday while replaying President Donald Trump's comments to Fox News host Tucker Carlson the night before.

On her show "Deadline: White House," Wallace showed the clip in which Carlson asked Trump about the comparative uncleanliness of American cities versus Japanese cities.

"It's very sad, it's very sad," Trump said. "It's a phenomenon that started two years ago. It's disgraceful. I'm going to maybe, and I'm looking at it very seriously. We're doing some other things, as you probably notice, like some of the very important things that we're doing now. But we're looking at it very seriously now, because you can't do that."

It wasn't at all clear what Trump was talking about, given his entirely unspecific language. He made further comments that seemed to suggest he was referring to people in cities who are homeless and experiencing mental illness. He also went on to make bizarre comments about police officers getting sick while walking around the city and people walking through filth to get into skyscrapers. It was a truly bizarre series of comments; the best explanation seemed to be that Trump was entirely unprepared for the question and knows nothing about urban policy, so he just rambled in response.

But it was still perplexing that he claimed that the "phenomenon" started two years ago, which would mean it started during his presidency. Similarly, he doubled down on this odd claim about timing, saying these problems didn't exist three years ago. Typically, he tries to blame negative outcomes on other politicians, rather than saying they happened under his watch. And it's also perplexing because Trump is a longtime New Yorker — he should be deeply familiar with the ongoing struggles the city has had with homelessness, trash removal, and urban blight, even given the fact that he's lived an exceedingly privileged life.

"Losing it?" Wallace asked in response to Trump's comments. "Or, some say maybe making a play for the base — the base for what, I'm not sure. The clean patrol?"

CNN's fact checker Daniel Dale, too, was "flummoxed" by the remarks.

Watch the MSNBC clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.