President Donald Trump left the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Friday, after attempting to sell his “America First” agenda to the skeptical global financial elite.
Regardless of the trip’s effectiveness or significance, the president accomplished what is always this administration’s primary goal: creating the optics for their base of the president on a global stage telling the world what white nationalist Senior Advisor Stephen Miller thinks of them.
In an interview with CNBC at while still in Davos, however, Trump may have accidentally revealed his own personal reason for appearing at the event: pure self indulgent ego stroking.
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Asked about his first impression of the event, one rarely attended by U.S heads of state – it’s been nearly 20 years since a sitting president made the trip – Trump gave a stunning answer, though one that we should really stop allowing ourselves to be so shocked by.
Sitting down with CNBC’s Joe Kernen, Trump said, “We have a dynamic country again. I just came out and some really wonderful people said, ‘Davos has never been like this’. This is like walking into the Academy Awards, except we have more photographers.”
His fixation on how he’s perceived by an audience – and how many people are in that audience – seem to be central to his calculation not only of the success of his presidency, but of his own self worth.
And the comparison to the Oscars is a not so subtle jab at the Hollywood establishment that has scorned him from day one of his campaign.
Trump stayed on script for most of the rest of the interview, sticking to his predictable but barely true boasts about his impact on the economy, specifically his tax and regulations cuts, and how his presence in Davos has somehow elevated the event.
“The cutting of the regulations was every bit as important as what we did with the tax cuts,” he said. “I mean, everybody in Davos is talking.”
“…Without me being here and without what we’ve been doing including regulation, by the way, because I happen to think that regulation is as big as the tax cuts, okay? I think the tax cuts are incredible. But I think the regulations, the cutting of regulations — because the businesses couldn’t even — they couldn’t do anything. They were totally bound”
You can watch the entire exercise in self aggrandizement here, and see the clip of Trump’s Academy Awards comparison below.
Trump on His Reception at Davos: ‘Like Walking into the Academy Awards Except We Have More Photographers’ pic.twitter.com/0Lpq9eWuGG
— Grabien (@GrabienMedia) January 26, 2018