On Tuesday night -- amid the leak of his phone call with Vladimir Putin, mounting legal problems and the ongoing Russia investigation -- President Donald Trump delivered a speech at a fundraiser in Washington for House Republicans' campaign arm.
It was a friendly crowd -- to say the least -- and Trump was very much in his element. I went through the transcript of the speech and picked out some of the more, um, memorable lines. They're below.
1. "I don't know if you know, you broke the all-time record. Last year was your record, and I was here too."
Trump is talking about the amount of money raised for the annual National Republican Congressional Committee dinner, which this year was $32 million. Translation of Trump here: You broke this record because of me. That's what I do. I break records.
2. "Just no reason why we shouldn't win with what we've done over the last year. No reason whatsoever."
History would like a word, Mr. President.
3. "They said it the other night, that Donald Trump actually has accomplished more than he said he would."
"They." Related: "They" said my blue glasses are awesome and I am one handsome devil!
4. "It wasn't even a friend that said that the other night, which is really a good feeling."
OK. So "they" was one person. Also, not a friend. We're narrowing it down!
5. "African-American unemployment has reached the lowest levels ever recorded. (Applause.) And I have to tell you, the fake news about two weeks ago got me on that one."
Follow this logic: Trump said that African-American unemployment was the lowest ever. Except that wasn't totally true. The media noted it. But, somehow the media is still the "fake news"? [head explodes]
6. "And these are really numbers that we're getting right out of the manual."
Um, which "manual" is this?
7. "And I said, 'You know, I think I have the idea. Don't call it tax reform. Call it tax cuts.'"
This is a now-familiar claim of credit by Trump. The reason that the tax cuts passed this time around was the fact that he changed the name of the bill from the tax reform bill to the tax cut bill. That Republicans control the House, Senate and White House didn't have anything to do with it.
8. "Let's not tell anybody, Kevin, about phase two that we've already started on, right? Phase two tax cuts."
Trump continues to hint publicly at a "phase two" of tax cuts although he offers few details. Want those details? You're going to have to stay tuned for the next episode!!!
9. Then one day, a friend of mine who was in the oil business called. 'Is it true that you have ANWR in the bill?' I said, 'I don't know. Who cares? What is that? What does that mean?'"
10. "He talked me into it -- and he didn't care, but he said it was amazing."
So. A friend of Trump's who is "in the oil business" convinced him to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. See #9.
11. "We have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal."
The best, most beautiful coal.
12. "That means that people that are very bad -- they're bad in many ways; they're even sadistic."
Trump is talking here, I think, about the bad behavior of some of the employees of the VA. I think ...
13. "Jim, you're fired. Get the hell out of here." I made a lot of money with that phrase. That was a great one."
[pulls muscle patting self on back]
14. "Last eight years, we've seen a lot of apologizing. Not any longer. We don't apologize."
Never apologizing is a foundational principle of Trumpism -- as taught to him by Roy Cohn. Always insist you are right. In every circumstance and attack the people who say you aren't.
15. "The one thing [Democrats] do great is obstruct. They're great at obstruction."
So Democrats in Congress are like the Italian soccer team in the World Cup? Ooooh, burn (about 10 people get that one).
16. "A lot of them are saying nice things about me in certain states that we won by a lot, and they're running in races."
Running in races, you say? [strokes beard knowingly]
17. "[Democrats] do not want DACA because they think it might be a good political issue, and we want DACA."
I'm not totally sure this captures the full political and legislative dynamic surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ...
18. "We're also getting the wall."
In case you had forgotten. Also, the "who is going to pay for it" call and response from Trump's campaign trail appearances is now gone. But, never fear, Mexico will pay. (They say they won't.)
19. "You see the slaughter. You see the kind of killing and hurt and pain."
"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now." -- Donald Trump's inauguration speech
20. "These days, there's no such thing as a Blue Dog Democrat, a Red State Democrat, or a conservative Democrat because they are all Pelosi Democrats."
21. "That is why I am going to campaign all across this country to elect Republicans."
Judging by Trump's recent track record -- events for Roy Moore and and Rick Saccone the weekend before their special election losses -- endangered Republicans may not be very happy to see Trump coming.
22. "I'll be complaining every single trip. But I'm going to get there."
He won't want to campaign for Republican candidates but he'll do it! HA HA ha ha um ...
23. "It's a dream, and they're destroying that beautiful dream."
If you vote for a Democrat this fall, according to Trump, you are destroying the American Dream. HOW DARE YOU.
24. "But then what happens -- oh, boy, are we going to -- are we going to win 2020."
The "oh boy" interjection in here slays me.
25. "They really -- they were happy. They were thrilled."
Trump describing how the crowd in southwestern Pennsylvania reacted to him. If you hadn't heard, they l-o-v-e-d him.
26. "Good man -- Rick Saccone. Good man. And didn't quite make it. But lost -- think of it -- lost by about 300 votes out of all those votes."
Saccone hasn't conceded.
27. "Now, the last election, we defied every expectation and totally proved the pundits wrong."
The 2016 election ended 497 days before Trump said this.
28. "We have a tremendous disadvantage in presidential elections with the Electoral College. Much easier to get the popular vote, but it's a very much different campaign."
This is all news to me!
29. "Nobody has ever done what we've done."
No one ever.
30. "I hated it."
Trump is talking about the phrase "drain the swamp" here. The reason he hated it? Someone other than him came up with it. Not kidding. Also, he thought it was "hokey."
31. "Every time I said it, I'd get the biggest applause."
This is a good reminder that Trump operates like a stand-up comedian. He tries out a variety of lines and positions on audiences and then just keeps the ones that get applause.
32. "You ever see Maxine Waters? A low-IQ individual."
33. "You have to be careful in politics, right?"
I just died. Of irony.
34. "They're going so far to the left-hand side of the equation, I don't know whether or not it's going to even be possible for them to do well. But for some reason, they'll probably do OK."
35. "We're doing very, very well, and I think you're going to have something very, very, special take place in a short period of time."
[rubs hands gleefully] What is it? What is it?