On Wednesday night at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs asked President Donald Trump a simple question: Had he decided, in light of recent events, that it no longer was advantageous for him to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller?
What came next was a word salad that amounted to a on-the-fly mashup of Trump's greatest hits when it comes to the ongoing Russia probe.
Trump said the phrase "no collusion" three times in the first sentence he uttered as an answer. He went on to say it twice more.
Trump also called the Mueller probe a "hoax" cooked up by Democrats to cover for their embarrassing election loss at least twice, and noted that Democrats had a tremendous built-in advantage in the Electoral College.
Abe, showing this isn't his first political rodeo, simply stared into space as Trump talked.
None of this is new rhetoric from Trump. And therefore it shouldn't be surprising.
And yet, the whole thing felt jarring and hugely out-of-place. An American president insisting that a special counsel probe being run out of his Justice Department and being spearheaded by a former FBI director appointed by a Republican president is a sham created by his political opponents? Really?
The Point: Trump has one gear. Whether he is speaking at a campaign rally or taking questions at a joint press conference with a foreign leader. Full speed ahead. Always.
Read Wednesday's full edition of The Point newsletter.
- 'No collusion ... No collusion ... No collusion ...-No collusion ... No collusion'
- Putin: Collusion accusations are nonsense
- Trump is right about collusion
- Bash: Part of indictment smells like collusion
- Trump: Collusion is not a crime
- Brennan: Claims of no collusion are hogwash
- Sorry, President Trump, collusion IS a crime
- Does Manafort disclosure build collusion case?
- Mueller's investigators questioned Kushner about potential Russian collusion, obstruction
- Ryan says no evidence of Trump campaign-Russia collusion