Donald Trump didn’t just do a Fox News virtual town hall in the Lincoln Memorial, sitting at the feet of the giant statue of Abraham Lincoln while saying he was treated worse than the assassinated president. He had the monument closed and the rules changed to allow him to conduct a crass political event inside, near the statue, an area that, by law, isn’t supposed to be used for “demonstrations and special events”—that’s why every big event you’ve ever seen involving the Lincoln Memorial was outside, on the steps.
But Trump wanted to look presidential, there at the feet of Lincoln, so Interior Secretary David Bernhardt closed the memorial and changed the rules for him. The New York Times reports that the original plan put Trump on the steps, but then the White House said nah, he’s going inside.
“Given the extraordinary crisis that the American people have endured, and the need for the President to exercise a core governmental function to address the Nation about an ongoing public-health crisis,” Bernhardt writes in his declaration closing the memorial for Trump’s Fox News hit, “I am exercising my authority to facilitate the opportunity for the President to conduct this address within the Lincoln Memorial, by directing a partial security-based closure of portions of the Lincoln Memorial.”
“Understandably, the President has, very deliberatively, made the decision to address this national crisis at the Lincoln Memorial. I anticipate his doing so will illuminate and reflect the values of our Nation during an unprecedented public-health crisis,” this masterpiece of sucking up continues. “Such an action will allow the President and the Nation to use Lincoln's powerful presence and the solemnity of the Memorial to reflect on and draw from our Nation's better angels, and to remind all of us that we can knit our often-divided Nation together in a time of trial.”
Well, we know why Bernhardt is Trump’s interior secretary, and it’s not just that Trump wanted to put a former oil lobbyist in charge of public lands: He wanted to put a former oil lobbyist who was also an accomplished suck-up in charge of public lands. Seriously, the man first used what “the American people have endured” as a reason to give Trump what his ego demanded, then claimed that Trump had “very deliberatively” made the decision to give his ego the grandest possible backdrop, then claimed that a Fox News virtual town hall was going to be the occasion to “illuminate and reflect the values of our Nation” and “reflect on and draw from our Nation’s better angels.” Fox News. Sure.
And then Trump went on to continue to promote unproven COVID-19 treatments and attack his political rival and attack the media while comparing himself to Lincoln. Illuminating and reflecting the values of
our nation a narcissistic bully.