Larry Kudlow Is Bad At This

Today's edition of the Sunday Rundown will focus on CNN's "State Of The Union" with Brianna Keilar, which featured the triumphant return of Trump's economic advisor and reverse Midas, Larry Kudlow.

After last week's very reassuring denials of the possibility of a recession, a reporter asked Trump at the G7 in France about his retalitory tariffs on China:

QUESTION: Do you have second thoughts about escalating the war with China?

TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.

It seems this existential despair answer (or simply that Trump doesn't actually know what "second thought" means) sent the White House went into spin mode, insisting Trump regrets not raising the tariffs HIGHER instead.

So naturally, Keilar began the interview with Kudlow by asking what Trump meant. After Kudlow basically went with the approved story, Keilar asked him to clarify this week's Trump royal decree to American businesses regarding China:

KEILAR: He also said he's no longer planning on forcing U.S. businesses to leave China. So, it does seem as if he is softening on this issue broadly.

KUDLOW: Well...

KEILAR: You disagree with that?

KUDLOW: Hang on, if you -- well, a little bit. […] Regarding the larger point, OK, so he -- what he said last week in the tweet is, he can't order business. He's not ordering business. There's no emergency powers being invoked right now.

KEILAR: Well, he said he has the authority to do that.

KUDLOW: He merely said -- he may. As I said, there's nothing right now in the cards. Ultimately, we do have such authority, but it is not going to be exercised presently.

Nothing to see here, folks! Just a Trump Administration official floating the idea he'll use "emergency powers" to seize control of businesses. I mean, it's not like he has declared a bullshit "emergency" to go around the Constitution already. What's it called when the government controls the means of production again? You know, that thing Republicans are always falsely accusing others of?

Kudlow then took his gaslighting one step too far and Keilar quickly called him out:

KUDLOW: What he is suggesting to American businesses -- and it's something he has said to many companies in many different forms on many different occasions -- you ought to think about -- to the companies -- you ought to think about moving your operations and your supply chains away from China.

KEILAR: He didn't say you ought to. He said -- he said he ordered. Larry, just to be clear, he didn't say you ought to. He said he ordered. But I do want to talk about how this is being received there.

KUDLOW: Well, I mean, no, he didn't order. He did not order the businesses. He just -- he just -- I know he said, "I hereby order." But what he -- he said to them, in effect, was that you begin to look or you begin to search for ways to move out of China.

KEILAR: Well, I'm just thinking about what he actually ...

KUDLOW: That's not necessarily a new thought.

KEILAR: I'm just thinking about what he actually tweeted, to be clear, the words that he tweeted.

Keilar noted that EU leader Donald Tusk (he's not Trump with a mustache) has warned that the tariffs could "lead to a recession." She quoted French president Emmanuel Macron saying the tariffs were "bad for everyone." Then she played footage confirming even his closest ally at the G7, new UK prime minister Boris Johnson, disagreed with the China tariffs. Kudlow went into what can only be described as total denial of reality:

KEILAR: How are you responding to criticism from world leaders about the U.S. strategy with China?

KUDLOW: Well, look, yes, I'm not sure I agree how you portrayed that, to be honest. I was in that meeting on the economy and trade.

KEILAR: What do you mean? It was a -- that's a quote.

KUDLOW: Yes, well, that may be a quote, but, sometimes, you're taking a quote out of context. And let me try to generate some context. […]

KEILAR: What's out of -- Larry, what's out of context? Because we just rolled video. I mean, what is out of context with that quote?

Kudlow tried to say that while the other world leaders publicly call Trump a fucking moron, in meetings behind closed doors, they all think he's right and smart and handsome and the "chosen one." Keilar was not buying that shit:

KEILAR: That's in the meeting, Larry.

KUDLOW: They are wholly behind President Trump. Now -- well, I was in that meeting. And I can tell you, the atmosphere in that meeting was constructive and supportive of President Trump.

KEILAR: Larry, those words came out of Boris Johnson's mouth.

KUDLOW: And let me -- I know. And you will keep repeating that.

KEILAR: How do you argue with that?

KUDLOW: So, let me weigh -- let me weigh in, OK? Yes, I know. But Boris Johnson expressed support for President Trump's campaign to go after ...

KEILAR: These aren't mutually exclusive ideas, though.

After eviscerating Kudlow's rewriting of actual recorded footage, Keilar asked about a new report by the CBO that says, "The trade barriers imposed since January 2018 reduce both real output and real household income. By 2020, they reduce the level of real U.S. GDP by roughly 0.3 percent and reduce average real household income by $580":

KEILAR: Five hundred eighty dollars, Larry, do you think that Americans can afford that?

KUDLOW: Well, I would probably quibble with that dollar amount that they have had. It wouldn't be the first quibble I have ever had with the CBO.

But when Keilar went for a clarification of this, Kudlow just simply gave up.

KEILAR: If you quibble with -- but when you break it down for families -- so you quibble with $580. What do you think it is? What are your numbers telling you then? Because if you think that's not the number, what is it?

KUDLOW: I honestly -- I honestly don't know. I honestly haven't made that calculation. It sounds very high to me.

KEILAR: Then how can you say it's less?

Brianna Keilar should host EVERY week. She did her duty and did not let Kudlow get away with telling stupid lies.

Watch the interview for yourself:

This isn't the first time has Keilar dealt with a Trump stooge.

Here is an all-time classic bit of shade from Brianna Keilar:

Can Keilar get CNN's "State Of The Union" and Katy Tur have NBC's "Meet The Press"? It would make them a whole lot better.

I'll also accept a trade between a resurrected Madeline Kahn and Chuck Todd

Until next time, have a week!

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Michael Mora

Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.


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