President Trump uttered one of his trademark quasi-dictatorial assertions during a Thursday-night interview with Laura Ingraham on her new show The Ingraham Angle (is that the permanent name, Fox News? You’re sticking with that?).
Ingraham asked Trump about the massive number of vital diplomatic jobs that have remained vacant at the State Department as Rex Tillerson continues to systematically gut the agency — though she approached the crisis as worse news for Trump than for the United States.
“Your State Department still has some unfilled positions. Are you worried that the State Department doesn’t have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through?” Ingraham asked, adding that “there’s a concern that the State Department is currently undermining your agenda.”
Trump responded with his customary eloquence and clarity of mind.
“So we don’t need all the people they want,” Trump said. “I’m a businessman, and I tell my people, ‘When you don’t need to fill slots, don’t fill them.’ But we have some people that I’m not happy with there. Lemme tell you, the one that matters is me. I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be.”
Trump then blamed Chuck Schumer and Democrats for obstructing nominees (which is definitely not what’s happening) and defended “cost saving” as a diplomatic strategy.
The autocratic egoism on display echoed several previous Trump moments, from his campaign ad released earlier in the week (“President Trump will fix it”) to his frightening speech at the Republican National Convention speech in 2016.
And it wasn’t the only authoritarian-infused section of the Ingraham interview. Trump also defended comments from Wednesday, in which he referred to the U.S. criminal justice system as a “joke” and “laughingstock” for not prosecuting terrorists faster.
He also called Donna Brazile’s account of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic National Committee “takeover” a “major story,” comments that served as a nice entree into his tweets Friday morning, in which he urged his Justice Department to go after Clinton.