Part of the thinking among some in the press is that Trump’s behind-the-scenes remarks to aides and lawmakers could be more indicative of his mental state than anything he says publicly because private comments might reveal his true thinking.
“It’s one thing if he’s saying it to you, or to me, or to the base, or from the podium to just kind of excite his base and play with people’s uglier suspicions about life,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo said Wednesday, when interviewing New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin. “But if he’s saying it in private, like he means it, what does the reporting reveal?”
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote on Thursday that “it is one thing to create a fantasyland for political ends — appealing to some voting group’s prejudices or giving supporters a reason to excuse bad behavior. It is another thing altogether, however, for Trump to fall into his own rabbit hole and actually believe what he once knew to be untrue.”