CNN Panel Repeatedly Suggests President Trump Sees Himself as a King

June 4th, 2019 9:09 PM

During the 3:00 p.m. hour of Monday's CNN Newsroom, the panel repeatedly compared President Trump to a king as they covered his state visit with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. In addition to indulging her guests’ suggestions that the President would like to be a king, host Brooke Baldwin teed up British journalist Harry Mount to trash the President.

The hour began with Baldwin arguing that “the Queen of England is the one person who the President seems entirely deferential to, on his best behavior with.” Attempting to explain the President’s “deference” to the Queen, chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward pointed out that the President “seems to have a huge amount of respect for the institution of the monarchy,” suggesting “perhaps he likes the idea of being a king.”



CNN international correspondent Max Foster agreed: “He likes the idea of being a king, which would explain why he’s so reverential in the palace environment.” After Baldwin asked about the presence of the President’s adult children throughout the state visit, Foster remarked that “it’s not completely unprecedented for a head of state to bring along their children to these state dinners.”

However, Foster could not resist going back to the now-tired analogy, noting Trump's request for “a formal meeting between his children and Princes William and Harry.” According to Foster, such a request “does suggest that he does see himself as a monarch able to pass on his power.” Echoing the analysis of her colleagues, CNN White House Reporter Kate Bennett suggested that “the President perhaps sees his children as American royalty or this is sort of our equivalent...the equivalency, which, you know, it’s not at all how we operate in America.”

After that nonsense, Baldwin brought on Mount and asked for his thoughts on the President’s description of London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a “stone-cold loser.” While he described the President’s comment as “very rude,” Mount argued that England is suffering from “a sort of Trump insult fatigue.”

Later, Baldwin asked Mount “what is it about President Trump that has…usually reserved Brits so excited?” Mount traced the source of the Brits’ anger at President Trump to “those insults and the rudeness and...the racism and the grabbing girls by certain parts of their anatomy” as well as the fact that he is simply “on the right.”

The comparisons of President Trump to a king continued on MSNBC Tuesday morning, where former Missouri Democratic Senator-turned-MSNBC-personality Claire McCaskill suggested that the President has a case of “throne envy.” It looks like the media desperately need to come up with some new talking points.

A transcript of the relevant portion of Monday’s CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin is below. Click “expand” to read more.

CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin


3:00 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: Has anyone noticed…and, and maybe, Clarissa, this is for you…that the Queen of England is the one person who the President seems entirely deferential to, on his best behavior with? Do you…what do you, what do you attribute that to? Is it, is it because of his own mother’s love for the Queen?

CLARISSA WARD: It is extraordinary, Brooke, now that you mention it. I hadn’t really thought about it before. But, essentially, there are so few people who can seemingly inspire that level of respect, that level of deference in President Trump. We, we don’t often see that. But, as you said, the Queen, he’s always taking a very deferential tone. He seems to have a huge amount of respect for the institution of the monarchy. Perhaps he likes the idea of being a king. So…and, you know, we saw today, as he was carrying out his duties attending that, that, that…talking to the guards at Buckingham Palace, that he really was behaving in a much more presidential way, Brooke, than what we have traditionally seen him do. One can only imagine, as you said, that perhaps it’s because his mother is Scottish.


BALDWIN: Kate, to you. You always know all things sartorial before anyone else. Do we have any idea yet what, what Melania Trump, what the First Lady will be wearing?

KATE BENNETT: Honestly, Brooke, I have tried. It is, it is a state secret. It is on lockdown here in England. I have no idea yet what she’s going to wear. I would imagine it’s going to be something pretty spectacular. So we’ll have to take a look. Again, she’s gotten her personal wardrobe stylist involved, Herve Pierre, who did her inauguration gown, who did the hat during the French state visit in Washington, who did the hat today. So, it might be something from him. Might be something…something custom. My producer, Betsy Klein, is telling me something about…that it’s a white strapless dress. This is what we know so far, Brooke, happening live. Just hearing from our…but I don’t know the designer yet. And it is, it is interesting. I always say this about Melania Trump. When you don’t have the sort of…these lots of speeches and appearances and, you know, someone who speaks a lot and does a lot of interviews, you really, we, we look to her clothes to send those obscure, sometimes subliminal messages. I think they’re there; as you know, I don’t believe in Melania Trump coincidences, so certainly tonight will be very, very interesting as to what she wears, and the kids too. You know, it’s interesting. Tiffany Trump has her own taste and style. She was just at the Cannes Film Festival in France and she spends a lot of time here in London. Donald Trump Jr., again, he’s been sporting the sort of outdoorsy guy beard. We’ll see if he has that tonight at the state banquet. So it’s…it is interesting. These aren’t events…the adult children aren’t people we see at the White House at a lot of events. They really don’t do this that much back stateside so…


BALDWIN: That is the stunning piece of this. And, Kate…and also, Max, feel free to jump in…just, you know, we…we’re used to…I just think of the most recent President. You think of, you know, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, you know, just the two of them going over for a state visit. And now it’s, it’s, it’s President Trump and his wife and, you know, the adult children and, you know, others from the White House. And I’m just wondering what their roles are, the adult children, to you, Kate and Max, just what you make of everyone mixing together.

MAX FOSTER: I think Clarissa said it, actually. He likes the idea of being a king, which would explain why he’s so reverential in the palace environment and so dismissive almost of the, you know, pretty chaotic politics in this country right now. I think, for me, the most interesting part of this visit has been this push…and Kate will explain what…how this came about, because I think it was pretty last-minute…but these adult children coming along. It’s not completely unprecedented for a head of state to bring along their children to these state dinners. It’s happened, you know, Mexico did it in 2015. But what is interesting is this call from President Trump for this next generation meeting, a formal meeting between his children and Princes William and Harry. They didn’t get any time here. There will be no meeting of that kind here. But it does suggest that he does see himself as a monarch able to pass on his power. And you explain that this was quite a last-minute decision.

BENNETT: Yeah, it seems as though…well, the Queen extended the invitation to the President and to the First Lady directly. And so, I think those were the invited people. It’s up to then, I believe Woody Johnson, the Ambassador, to then flush out the guest list a bit from the American side. And, likely, that’s when the children were added. I do feel that this is a sort of complicated, again, unprecedented, although you mentioned Mexico, but the, the…as you said, the interesting part of this next generation meeting, to me, was so interesting, as though the President perhaps sees his children as American royalty or this is sort of our equivalent…the equivalency, which, you know, it’s not at all how we operate in America. But…but perhaps that’s because everyone gets a little overwhelmed..


FOSTER: What was that about him being anti-establishment?


BENNETT: Yeah, right. Everyone feels this moment very deeply. So perhaps he just has royal fever. I don’t, I don’t know.


BALDWIN: Kate and Max, do me a favor and stand by. And, obviously, we’ll come back the second we see the shot of President Trump and the First Lady. But let me bring in one more voice. Harry Mount is a British author and journalist and the editor of “The Oldie.” He is also the author of “How England Made the English: From Why We Drive on the Left to Why We Don’t Talk to Our Neighbours.” So, Harry Mount, hello, my friend. Welcome.

HARRY MOUNT: Evening, Brooke.

BALDWIN: So let’s start with Trump’s tweets about the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, moments before he landed. Now granted, Mayor Khan was provoking the President first, but…but to read the response from Trump, calling him a stone-cold loser, what does a Brit think when they hear a phrase like that from the President of the United States

MOUNT: Well, we, like anybody else, would think it was very rude. But, actually, I think we’re suffering from maybe what you’re suffering from over there, a sort of Trump insult fatigue, as it’s no longer shocking, really. A quarter of a million people are expected to march tomorrow against Trump. So, there’s a long-term dislike of him. But whatever he says is no longer really shocking. And we over here, we separate the man from the office. So, we still deeply respect the fact that the American President is coming over here to salute the thousands of American and British servicemen who lost their lives at D-Day 75 years ago. And, at the same time, we have got rather tired and bored of the insults. I don’t think they’re shocking anymore.

BALDWIN: I don’t…to the Queen, if only we could read her mind on how she views all of this, right? She’s 93 years of age, Harry. She has met with every…almost every American President since Eisenhower in her 67 years on the throne. And I know she will never let on to what she’s thinking. But, Harry, will…will she act any certain way, you know, given the comments that he made about Meghan Markle being nasty? Will she, will she let that on at all?

MOUNT: Well, as you say, Brooke, she doesn’t really show emotion. For 67 years, she has never given a TV interview, so we will never know what she’s thinking. Actually, funny enough, looking at her smile this afternoon when she met the President, it seemed like a pretty good, full smile. But, in those 67 years, she’s met some real shockers. She had the state visit of President Ceausescu, the former tyrant head of Romania. Him and his family stole the silver-backed brushes on the bedside table at Buckingham Palace. I don’t think President Trump’s going to be doing that.

BALDWIN: I don’t think so. I’m sure he has much bigger and gold brushes back home for himself.

MOUNT: Exactly, yeah, bigger brushes, yeah.


BALDWIN: I was talking to Tom Newton Dunn last hour, the…

MOUNT: Sure.

BALDWIN: …political editor from The Sun. And he had just interviewed Trump. And he got him to endorse Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. And we know Trump is meeting with the outgoing P.M., Theresa May, at 10 Downing tomorrow. But, but do you think these two men will be able to resist not meeting in public this trip?

MOUNT: I’d have thought not. I know Boris a little. I don’t know your President. But Boris is basically President Trump’s Mini-Me. They both absolutely love attention, and they both don’t mind what the rest of the world thinks. So, if they want to meet each other, they will. Our poor beleaguered Prime Minister, Theresa May, tried to suggest that Nigel Farage, the head of the Brexit party, shouldn’t meet President Trump. But, again, I’m afraid what Theresa May says makes no difference. If Trump wants to meet these two men and they want to meet him, they will. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see all of them together.

BALDWIN: Last one, Harry. These huge protests are expected tomorrow. What is it about President Trump that, that has usually reserved Brits so excited?

MOUNT: Well, I think part of it is those insults and the rudeness and the, the racism and the grabbing girls by certain parts of their anatomy. I think part of it is just being on the right. So actually, the British have become greater protesters over the last 20 or 30 years, that actually, the idea of us being this reserved, quiet bunch has changed quite a lot, I’d say, maybe more over the last half-century. So, I think it’s his outrageous manner, his insults, and I think being on the right. I don’t think you’d get the same protests for a President on the left, even if he or she were outrageous as Trump.