He attacked former president Barack Obama’s intellect while defending Putin for annexing part of Crimea — a move that drove Russia’s expulsion from what was then called the G-8. To many world leaders, Putin’s move was illegal and had nothing to do with Obama. To Trump, it showed that his predecessor was a sucker and that criticizing him (along with former vice president “Sleepy Joe” Biden, in Trump’s words) was fair banter. He veered into a similar diatribe on Obama not enforcing a “red line” in Syria, though he was not queried on the topic…

Asked why he continued to falsely blame Obama for the annexation of Crimea, as he did almost a dozen times Monday, the president suggested that he knew the black journalist asking the question, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS News, had an ulterior motive. “I know you like President Obama,” he said, without saying how he knew that…

Trump claimed to have gotten two phone calls on Sunday night from high-ranking Chinese officials seeking to negotiate a trade deal. “High-level calls,” he said. Chinese government officials said Monday that they were unaware of any such calls. When Trump asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to back him up, Mnuchin would only say there had been “communication,” avoiding the word “call.” The treasury secretary quickly interjected again Monday afternoon to add “communications.”