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Trump's disturbing 'celebration'

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CNN's Kaitlin Collins reports on President Donald Trump's acquittal victory speech and the implications behind several of his accusatory statements against Democratic party leaders.

Posted: Feb 7, 2020 9:30 AM
Updated: Feb 7, 2020 9:30 AM

The tip-off was the fake, breathy voice -- call it Mister Rogers-on the-dark side -- that the President uses whenever he is enraged but wants us to think he's calm. He smiles and leans forward, and then spews venom in a treacly tone. Although he called it a "celebration" of his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, Trump's hourlong ramble in the White House on Thursday sounded more like a recriminating diatribe.

President Donald Trump recapped the many investigations against him over the last three years and directed his vitriol at those who dared oppose him. They are "evil and sick people," said Trump.

Rep. "Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person," he said, and Speaker of the House "Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person." Mitt Romney "used religion as a crutch," Trump said, after Romney cited his Mormon faith in his decision to become the only senator in US history to vote to remove a president of his own party. Trump went on and called the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections "bullsh**."

Even his decision to hold up the front page of the Washington Post, displaying the headline "Trump acquitted," struck a sour note, since it reminded the world that he is only the third US president to be impeached -- a process that has sown deep divisions in the country. Let's not forget -- the trial was rigged. His acquittal had been guaranteed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell before it even began. Boasting about it was akin to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il bragging about the 11 holes-in-one he scored in a round of golf.

Like Kim, Trump is not like most people. We would expect any other president in his circumstance to express relief and perhaps a little happiness before promising to heal the nation's wounds.

Trump, true to his deviance, chose to babble on about his years-ago election victory, and to curse his opponents and critics. You would hardly know that he was the billionaire who occupied the highest office in the country and had just dodged a bullet the size of a bunker-buster.

Instead of taking even a small measure of responsibility for a crisis that kicked off after he tried to enlist foreign election help in exchange for congressionally approved military aid for an ally at war, Trump demonstrated the pure essence of his narcissism and self-pity. At the "celebration," he mostly played the victim as he complained "it was dirty cops, it was leaks and liars."

The disconnect between Trump's sicklysweet demeanor and his vile words made my skin crawl -- especially when he mocked two FBI agents, who he called "lovers," and then declared them lowlifes.

As he thanked his family, Trump couldn't help but make it also about himself. He summoned his daughter to the front of the room where she had no choice but to give her father a big demonstrative embrace. His wife came second and although Trump did offer an apology for what she has endured of late, he pointedly insisted it was not at all his fault.

In a display of dominance, Trump singled out two members of Congress whom he considered allies and asked Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows to speak up. The moment recalled the June 2017 Cabinet Room meeting where Trump asked that his top appointees offer him praise, one by one, and they did. This time, Rep. Mark Meadows accepted the toady role, standing up to say that people across the country support the President.

The emotional dissonance, the creepiness and the dominance all create a picture of a man who lacks the range of emotions the rest of us experience. Trump, who always appears to be putting on an act, doesn't seem to care that he hurts or humiliates others.

His joy seems to come not from winning, as he did in the Senate proceedings, but from bending others to his will. Perhaps he will find some happiness when he reads Sen. Sherrod Brown's piece in The New York Times, claiming that many of his GOP colleagues supported Trump out of fear.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 786168

Reported Deaths: 15016
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2607976353
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino52471908
Orange520631128
San Diego44577760
Kern31379354
Fresno27668355
Sacramento21297375
Alameda20558374
Santa Clara20410296
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16319335
Contra Costa15837199
Tulare15599256
Ventura12328143
Imperial11558314
San Francisco1074599
San Mateo9522143
Monterey946767
Santa Barbara8862110
Merced8750134
Kings728377
Sonoma7060114
Marin6557112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer346641
San Luis Obispo336927
Butte274835
Yolo274754
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa161413
San Benito130111
Yuba11187
El Dorado10684
Mendocino84918
Lassen7310
Shasta68714
Glenn5503
Colusa5096
Nevada5066
Tehama4984
Humboldt4826
Lake46510
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
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Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
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Air quality has worsened for most of northern California as a lot of smoke from our area fires as settled over the valleys and foothills. We can expect more hazy, smoky sunshine on Tuesday with light to moderate breezes as autumn begins.
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