For more than an hour on Tuesday night, President Trump vented. There’s no other word for it: It wasn’t a campaign speech, as such (though the bill was being paid by his distant 2020 reelection effort) and it certainly wasn’t a presidential speech. It was a therapy session without an intervening therapist, an opportunity for Trump to tell his side of the story with a guaranteed applause track for every line.

The nature of Trump’s discourse was that it was true to his feelings, though certainly not honest. His position on the targets of the words was obvious, even as the words themselves were often untrue. It means that we can get a decent sense for how Trump feels about an individual or group from what — and how much — he said about them.

Below, a number of subjects that Trump did address or could have addressed on in Phoenix, presented with his words about them. This was what Trump was feeling on Tuesday night.


About Heather Heyer, the woman killed in the protests at Charlottesville:

The media “also said that he must be a racist because he never mentioned the driver of the car, who is a terrible person, drove the car and he killed Heather, and it’s a terrible thing. But they said I didn’t mention, so these are my words. ‘The driver of the car is a murderer, and what he did was a horrible, inexcusable thing.’ They said I didn’t mention it.”

About Jeffrey Lord, the commentator fired from CNN after tweeting a Nazi salute:

CNN “fired Jeffrey Lord, poor Jeffrey. Jeffrey Lord. I guess he was getting a little fed up, and he was probably fighting back a little bit too hard. They said, we’ve better get out of here; we can’t have that.”

About John McCain, the senator from Arizona who voted against the Republican health-care bill and who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer:

“[W]e were just one vote away from victory after seven years of everybody proclaiming repeal and replace. One vote away. One vote away. We were one vote away. Think of it, seven years the Republicans — and again, you have some great senators, but we were one vote away from repealing it.”
“But, you know, they all said, Mr. President, your speech was so good last night, please, please, Mr. President don’t mention any names. So I won’t. I won’t. No, I won’t vote — one vote away, I will not mention any names. Very presidential, isn’t it? Very presidential.”

About Jeff Flake, Arizona’s other Republican senator, who supported the bill and who’s been critical of Trump:

“Nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who’s weak on borders, weak on crime, so I won’t talk about him. Nobody wants me to talk about him. Nobody knows who the hell he is.”

About Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff who was found to be in contempt of court for racially profiling Latinos in his jurisdiction after being told not to:

“Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe? So, was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job? That’s why … He should have had a jury, but you know what? I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, okay? But — but I won’t do it tonight, because I don’t want to cause any controversy. Is that okay? All right? But Sheriff Joe can feel good.

About North Korean leader Kim Jong Un:

“I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us. I respect that fact very much. Respect that fact. And maybe — probably not — but maybe something positive can come about. They won’t tell you that, but maybe something positive can come about.”

About the protesters outside the event:

“There aren’t too many people outside protesting, okay. That I can tell you.” …
“How about all week they’re talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside. Where are they? Well, it’s hot out. It is hot. I think it’s too warm. You know, they show up in the helmets and the black masks, and they’ve got clubs, and they’ve got everything — Antifa!”

About Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona:

“Your governor who met me at the plane, and he’s now inside, but he said I want to spend my time outside on security. I said, I think that’s a great idea, governor. But not that many people showed up so I don’t think it should be much of a problem. But you have a hell of a governor, Governor Ducey. You have a great governor.”

About racists and white supremacists:

“[Referring to his Aug. 14 statement:] And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold true as Americans. Now let me ask you, can it be any better than that, in all fairness?” …
“I said everything. I hit him with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything. I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there, let’s see. KKK, we have KKK. I got them all. So they’re having a hard time.”

About the media. This section contains only specific uses of the word “media” for the sake of brevity:

“But the very dishonest media, those people right up there with all the cameras.” …
“I mean truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories. They have no sources in many cases. They say “a source says” — there is no such thing. But they don’t report the facts.” …
“Because the media is totally dishonest, and they have a double standard.” …
“The media can attack me. But where I draw the line is when they attack you, which is what they do. When they attack the decency of our supporters.” …
“It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions, and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions.” …
“The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself, and the fake news.” …
“If you want to discover the source of the division in our country, look no further than the fake news and the crooked media which would rather get ratings and clicks than tell the truth.” …
“Not only does the media give a platform to hate groups, but the media turns a blind eye to the gang violence on our streets, the failures of our public school, the destruction of our wealth at the hands of the terrible, terrible trade deals made by politicians that should’ve never been allowed to be politicians.”

About Sean Hannity and Fox News:

“I must tell you, Fox has treated me fairly. Fox treated me fairly. They’ve treated me fairly. Hey, I’ll let you know. You know what? Some day they might not treat me fairly, and I’ll tell you about it, okay? But they’ve treated me fairly, and I don’t mean all good. I get plenty of bad on Fox, too. But at least it’s within reason. And Hannity? How good is Hannity? How good is Hannity? And he’s a great guy, and he’s an honest guy.”

About the sailors who were killed on Monday after an accident involving the USS John McCain:

[Nothing.]