For the past seven years or so, Donald Trump has dominated our politics, our news, our conversations with random people at the checkout counter, and often our thoughts. It’s safe to say that during this time we’ve gotten to know the man a little. So I think we can all imagine how furious he must be about the entire political spectrum blaming him for Republicans’ disappointing midterms and anointing his rival Ron DeSantis as the future of the GOP. Though Trump tried to play it cool on Wednesday, claiming that Tuesday night was “A GREAT EVENING” and even an “UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS,” he couldn’t keep up the façade. By the end of the day, he’d acknowledged on Truth Social that aspects of Election Day were “somewhat disappointing” and lashed out at DeSantis.
Maggie Haberman of the New York Times backed up the general assumption about Trump’s nasty mood with some reporting. On Wednesday, she tweeted that he was “furious” and looking to shift the blame:
On Thursday, she reiterated this point in an article she wrote with Michael C. Bender, adding some new details:
But at his home in Florida, Mr. Trump was privately spreading blame, including to Sean Hannity and the casino mogul Steve Wynn, for his endorsement of Mehmet Oz, the defeated Pennsylvania Senate candidate. He included his wife, Melania, among those he complained had offered poor advice, according to several people familiar with the discussions.
… On Wednesday, Mr. Trump was said to be furious with Mr. Hannity, to whom the former president often turns for political advice, and who was among several people who urged him to endorse Dr. Oz.
On Wednesday, Trump tried to prove he isn’t bothered at all, contrary to the Times’ reporting, by posting six “truths” complaining about Haberman and Bender, the “enemies and losers” who spoke to them, and the media in general. He kicked off the slow-moving “truth”-storm at 1:44 a.m.:
Later in the morning he (attempted to) attack Haberman by name and said Pennsylvania Senate-race loser Mehmet Oz is a “wonderful guy” who lost because he didn’t deny the fact that Joe Biden won the 2020 election:
Trump went on to explain that you can trust him when he says “I was not at all ANGRY” because he’s a “Stable Genius.” (This is a callback to a 2019 press conference in which Trump declared himself an “extremely stable genius,” then tried to prove his point by calling on aides one by one, making them provide testimony about how calm he was in a recent meeting with Nancy Pelosi.)
Then Trump dropped this startling statement:
The phrase “I’d like to apologize” has almost never been uttered by Trump in public — with the notable exception of this hostage video he posted on Facebook in response to the Access Hollywood tape.
Prior to his Twitter ban, Trump tweeted the words “apology” and “apologize” 139 times, according to the Trump Twitter Archive, but it was almost always in the context of demanding that other people tell him they’re sorry.
Of course, on further inspection, Trump isn’t really telling his beloved wife and cherished Fox News host that he’s sorry; it’s a faux apology to attack his enemies for their alleged lies. (Truth Social is also a bad venue for a Melania apology, since she barely uses the site.)
They say it takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong, but maybe it takes an even bigger man to insist he wasn’t wrong at all, point the finger at everyone but himself, and repeatedly shout “NO, I’M NOT ANGRY!” into the social-media void.
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