The Slatest

Caught Lying About Baseball Invite, President Calls Twitter Criticism “Illegal” and Endorses Demon-Sperm Doctor

It’s the Trump Vincibility Watch.

Trump gives a thumbs-up sign while walking on a paved path outside the White House.
Relax, he’s got this. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Trump Vincibility Watch is a subjective and speculative estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump actually loses the 2020 election or, in other words, that he suffers the consequences of his actions for the first time in his life rather than wriggling out of yet another jam (see: the Mueller investigation, the Ukraine scandal, the 2016 popular vote, his six bankruptcies, and everything else).

The week in news about Donald Trump has been a wild ride, even by Donald Trump standards:

• On Thursday, Trump announced he would be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a Major League Baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15. On Monday, the New York Times published a piece about this announcement, which, according to the paper’s sources, Trump made spontaneously, without having run it by the Yankees, because he was jealous of Anthony Fauci, who had been (actually) invited to throw out a first pitch in the District of Columbia on July 23 by the Washington Nationals. The president’s imaginary Aug. 15 first pitch has since been canceled.

• On Monday night, Trump expressed a belief that Twitter’s trending-topics section features too much criticism of him, writing in a tweet of his own that such alleged bias against him is “disgusting,” “ridiculous,” “very unfair,” and, somehow, “illegal.”

• Later Monday night, Trump used Twitter to share a video in which a Houston doctor and preacher named Stella Immanuel argues that wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is unnecessary and makes (medically unproven) claims about the effectiveness of the drug hydroxychloroquine in treating the disease. As the Daily Beast subsequently reported, Immanuel also believes that “gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are … caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches” and has said that many individuals in positions of power are actually lizard aliens. (The latter belief is a somewhat common one.)

• Finally (for now), on Tuesday, some Republicans in Congress objected to a provision in their own party’s new coronavirus relief proposal that would provide funds for the renovation of the FBI headquarters building in downtown D.C. The White House reportedly insisted on the provision, which would benefit Trump because it would mean that the FBI stays put at its current location, near the Trump International Hotel, rather than moving to a location in suburban Virginia, which would potentially allow the current headquarters site to be purchased and developed by a rival hotel company. (The issue is one that Trump has long been obsessed with.)

In last week’s Vincibility Watch, we outlined a plausible scenario in which Trump could make up ground against Joe Biden in the polls—despite evidence that the public is convinced Biden is “more compassionate, intelligent, honest, and possessed of good judgment” than Trump is—by allowing organic trends related to the economy and the coronavirus to improve his standing. In fact, we wrote specifically that such a scenario would not require the president to do “anything at all except sign a bill and continue to not disparage masks.” This week, he has disparaged masks and thrown a pointless kink into the process of passing the bill in question while creating sideshow stories that emphasize his dishonesty and poor judgment. Additionally, the demon sperm. We judge him STILL EMINENTLY VINCIBLE.

A "Trump Vincibility Watch" graphic of six rows containing the letters T-R-U-M-P. The row that is highlighted reads "UMP," with a worker removing the R.
Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photo by Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images.

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