Rejecting Critics, Trump Brags of Ivy League Credentials and “Great Memories of All Time”

“I’m a very intelligent person.”

President Donald Trump continued to defend himself from the ongoing controversy over his phone call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, telling reporters in an impromptu press conference on Wednesday that he was “really nice to her.” He explained that not only was he equipped with a chart listing Johnson’s name, but relied on his own  memory—”one of the great memories of all time”—as evidence that he did not botch the phone call as Johnson’s family has repeatedly claimed.

“I respect her, I respect her family, I certainly respect La David—who by the way I called ‘La David’ right from the beginning,” he said outside the White House. “Just so you understand, they put a chart in front—La David, says La David Johnson.”

“No hesitation,” he added. “One of the great memories of all time.”

Earlier this week, Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, confirmed a congresswoman’s account that Trump did not remember Johnson’s name when he called to offer his condolences. She also confirmed his controversial remarks that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”

On Wednesday, Trump also blamed the media for unfairly painting him as an “uncivil” president. 

“People don’t understand: I went to an Ivy League school,” he said. “I was a nice student. I did very well. I’m a very intelligent person.”

The press conference follows Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)’s surprise announcement the day before that he would not seek another term. In a blistering speech from the Senate floor, Flake pointedly denounced the president for his “daily sundering of the country” and disregard for the truth. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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