Run the Presses!

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

The Washington Post describes Donald Trump’s private attitude toward the federal deficit:

When former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn’s staffers prepared a presentation for Trump about deficits, Cohn told them no. It wouldn’t be necessary, he said, because the president did not care about deficits, according to current and former officials.

Trump also repeatedly told Cohn to print more money, according to three White House officials familiar with his comments. “He’d just say, run the presses, run the presses,” one former senior administration official said, describing the president’s Oval Office orders. “Sometimes it seemed like he was joking, and sometimes it didn’t.”

Nobody would care much about this except that apparently Trump has changed his mind and now plans a new attack on the deficit while simultaneously demanding (a) increased spending on a bunch of new programs he favors and (b) popular programs not be touched. The authors provide this example from a couple of months ago during the runup to the midterms:

When staffers sought to include an attack on Democrats’ Medicare-for-all proposals in Trump’s campaign speeches this fall, he initially blanched, two administration aides said. Medicare is popular, he said, and voters want it. Eventually, he agreed to the attack if he could say Democrats were going to take the entitlement away.

I’m trying to think of what to say about this, but I’m coming up blank. Trump “agreed to the attack,” but only if the attack was changed to something that was entirely false. Only then was he was OK with it.

That’s our president! The Post writers, needless to say, don’t bother pointing out that Trump’s frequently repeated attack was a lie. Sigh.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate