/ July 26, 2020
By Bill Juneau
As was hyped and promoted, the Chris Wallace one-on-one interview with President Trump was aired Sunday, July 19.
Nothing new there, but Wallace endeavored to produce the coveted "gotcha" which would embarrass the president and draw kudos from liberals and his colleagues in the media.
With his prepared questions, the aggressive and mush-mouthed Wallace, a registered Democrat, did his best to show that the President was a racist who had mishandled the pandemic sweeping the nation; had disparaged Covid-19 expert Dr. Tony Fauci unfairly and will never commit to accepting results of the upcoming election.
Trump went ahead with the scheduled interview and it was held in a garden area outside the White House. The weather was hot, they both agreed, but President Trump made the call as to the setting.
Trump had been on record as to his assessment of Wallace, who works for Fox News, and was formerly with ABC and NBC. In a tweet he had said Wallace, 72, was a "wannabe" of his late father, and was, in his interviewing and reporting, "nasty and obnoxious."
Chris' father, Mike Wallace, had been a part of the media for about seven decades, mostly on CBS and frequently on "60 Minutes," and had always found a way to curtsy to the Democratic Party which revered him and treated him as one of their own.
In the garden interview, Wallace wanted to know why Trump did not order that citizens wear a mask at all times. Trump said that he believed in wearing a mask and he recommended it, but that the decision is up to the citizens and cannot be ordered by him or by governors. He noted that Dr. Fauci had initially told him that masks were not necessary, but has reversed himself on that. "Dr. Fauci is a "little bit of an 'alarmist' about the pandemic, but we have a very good relationship," Trump explained. The President said that he is sticking with his prediction that the pandemic will disappear, and — "eventually, I will be right."
With his hands filled with polling results, Wallace noted aggressively that the President is trailing Joe Biden in virtually every category. It was designed to be a telling put down of the President but Trump was not buying it.
"First of all, I am not losing, because these are fake polls, in which Republicans are not included," he fired back. "They were fake in 2016 and they're even more fake now....the polls were much worse in 2016."
We have our own polls, asserted the President to the combative Wallace, and we are ahead and we feel good about everything. We will be re-elected next November.
Wallace charged on, noting that changing the names of army bases is favored by the military — bases like Fort Brag in North Carolina, named after a southern general. Trump said he would veto name changing of bases, adding that he didn't care what the military said.
"Army bases stood tall during two world wars.... so what are you going to name them?" he asked. "Are we going to name one after the Rev. Al Sharpton?"
Then Wallace dug deep, looking to put the President down and score a "gotcha." He repeated a question which he had asked Candidates Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016 — that if elected, would the President "accept the results of the election."
The president should have told Wallace that was a dumb question in 2016 and it is just as dumb now.
Trump dismissed it by answering the same as he had four years ago. "I am not going to say yes, and I am not going to say no. I will let you know when the time comes. I'll keep you in suspense."
Does Wallace have some idea that if Trump were defeated in the election t he would remain in the oval office and lock the door? Any candidate can contest results of an election when the numbers are very close.
Does the President consider Biden to be "senile," inquired Wallace.
"I would not say that," said Trump, who added he feels his opponent is incompetent and is clearly being manipulated by radical progressive managers. Left alone, he is incapable of doing the job as president, Trump added. He suggested that Biden should undergo a cognitive test similar to the one which he (Trump) has taken and passed with a perfect score. He said that if Biden were interviewed as he has been, he would probably drop to the ground and scream "mama."
Wallace said that he has requested an interview with Biden, but has not yet received an answer.
If he is allowed into Biden's basement hideaway, it will be interesting to see how Joe handles those Wallace softballs.
Bill Juneau worked for 25 years as a reporter and night city editor at the Chicago Tribune. Subsequently he became a partner in a law firm and also served as a village prosecutor and as a consultant to the Cook County Circuit Court and to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He is currently writing columns and the 'Florida Bill' blog.
Free Press International