One of the more bizarre Peak Trump Moments (PTM) tonight was this stream of consciousness answer when Trump seemed to argue that even though he never publicly said anything negative about the Iraq War until almost three years later when it was deeply unpopular, he had private conversations on the subject with the highly credible Sean Hannity. And all you have to do is call Hannity who will totally back him up.
It doesn't get more peak Trump than this, when Trump said how he was going to have some kind of ugly outburst against Hillary and her family but just couldn't since it would be wrong. He wants credit for not doing it.
Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials, some of it said in entertainment, somebody who's been very vicious to me, Rosie o'donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree she deserves it, and nobody feels sorry for her. I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice, but she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue.
Let me start by saying that my central prediction about this debate was wrong. I thought Trump's big obstacle was getting pressed on a specific policy question, not having any idea what he was talking about and riffing his way into nonsense or easily controvertible lies. That close to didn't happen at all.
The debate ended up proceeding quite differently. In the first few exchanges Trump was on point pushing a message of economic nationalism, opposition to international trade agreements and job loss. Clinton, notably, barely engaged on this front, preferring to steer her responses to questions about tax equity, middle class families, trickle down economics, etc. But those initial jousts, that focus only lasted for ten or maybe 15 minutes.
10:37 PM: How much time has Trump spent talking about how much money has been spent, who's polls are up.
10:36 PM: "She deserved it." I was going to say something horrible but I decided not to. Gimme credit.
10:34 PM: Good answer on Stamina.
10:33 PM: STA-MI-NA.
10:29 PM: Putin's briefing on the new nuclear arsenal probably came in handy here.
10:24 PM: How much time do Trump spend tonight doubling down on his lie about opposing the Iraq War?
10:21 PM: Is the idea that he talked to Hannity privately being opposed to the war. And we're supposed to ask Hannity? Has this come up before? The magazine interview Trump is talking about was almost three years after the war started.
10:18 PM: Taking credit for NATO doing stuff on terrorism. "I'm sure I'm not going to get credit for it, it was largely because of what I was saying, and my criticism of NATO."
10:14 PM: Back to saying we should have taken the oil!!!!! Oh please, please, please someone ask him about this!
10:08 PM: She gets in mentioning Trump inviting Putin to hack America more. She's managing to get in many of these key dark moments for Trump.
10:07 PM: On tax returns, Clinton asks: What is he trying to hide?
10:05 PM: Why is Trump bragging that he settled with no admission of guilt? Also, he's demanding credit for setting up a non-racist club in Florida?
10:03 PM: To understand how Donald Trump saw birtherism as a ticket to political power, watch this video.
10:01 PM: "I say nothing." He cannot apologize. He cannot admit a mistake. "I think I did a great job and a great service in getting the President to give his birth certificate."
10:00 PM: He's deep in the fever swamp. "I figured you'd ask the question." <<< what was that about? This Blumenthal thing has already been discredited.
9:59 PM: Oh lord. Sidney Blumenthal?
9:58 PM: "Abused and used" ... "controlled these communities for a hundreds."