World leaders assembled on the English Channel this week, on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, for two days of ceremonies recalling the unrivaled bravery and sacrifice of Donald Trump.
President Trump, staying at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, was up early Wednesday and already thinking deep and profound thoughts on the theme of the day: himself.
“Washed up psycho @BetteMidler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make ‘your great president’ look really bad,” he tweeted.
It was 1:30 a.m.
D-Day is often referred to as “The Longest Day,” but Trump’s Wednesday had to be a close second.
As the world’s focus turned to the legendary World War II battle, Trump’s attention remained fixed on the commemoration of Trump.
In this great and noble undertaking, he had the support of Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who said the D-Day anniversary “is the time where we should be celebrating our president.”
The morning tweeting continued.
“This trip has been an incredible success for the President,” he declared, quoting Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
“If the totally Corrupt Media was less corrupt, I would be up by 15 points in the polls based on our tremendous success with the economy, maybe Best Ever!” he wrote.
He tweeted a White House-produced video, set to triumphant music, showing images of – you guessed it – Trump, in Britain.
If any event symbolizes a cause greater than self, it is D-Day, when thousands stormed the beaches of Normandy under Nazi fire. But for Trump, no cause exceeds self.
At a time for lofty sentiment, Trump defaulted to the small – about the “No Collusion Witch Hunt,” “Sleepy Joe Biden,” the “Corrupt Media” and “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer” (”What a Creep”).
On the morning of the remembrance in Portsmouth, England, Britons woke to Piers Morgan’s interview with Trump.
“I know so much about nuclear weapons.”
“I’m running on maybe the greatest economy we ever had.”
“I knocked out ISIS.”
“I had an inauguration which I have to say was spectacular.”
“We had a big election-night win.”
“I have all the cards.”
“I have a good relationship with many of the leaders.”
“I have a very good relationship with the people in the United Kingdom.”
“We have tremendous support,” Trump proclaimed.
He and his wife were the “only people at a special ceremony for the new emperor.”
He paused the self-adulation long enough to ask: “How am I doing?”
Just great, sir.
Morgan, the 2008 winner of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” showed why he earned the sole TV interview with Trump. He asked what Trump’s late mother would think of her son.
“She would have been very proud,” allowed Trump, who reported that the queen herself “was very honored” to learn his mother was a fan of Elizabeth’s.
Does he see similarities between himself and Winston Churchill?
“I would be ridiculed” for saying so, but “I certainly would like to see similarities.”
Churchill’s “swashbuckling style? His fearlessness?” Morgan prompted. “He was polarizing.”
“Well, that’s true,” Trump admitted.
In a nod to the day’s solemnity, Trump described D-Day as a “really incredible” battle, maybe “the greatest battle in history.” The best!
With a straight face, Morgan recalled that Trump was “unable to serve in Vietnam” because of his “bone spur.”
“I think I make up for it right now,” Trump replied. “Look, $700 billion I gave [the Pentagon] last year, and this year $716 billion” (in taxpayer dollars, not his).
Morgan concluded by presenting Trump with the same style of hat Churchill wore. Trump put it on. The bowler fit!
At Portsmouth, Trump read the D-Day prayer of a man nearly as great as himself: Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion and our civilization,” he read.
After brief visits with veterans and leaders, Trump flew to Ireland to spend the night at his golf club. He opted to sleep there on both nights of the D-Day commemoration, because, he said of the 400-mile detour, “it’s convenient.”
The Irish prime minister, declining Trump’s invitation to meet him at the Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg, instead met Trump at the airport. There, Trump reported, among other things, that he had “an incredible time” at the D-Day ceremony.
“Is this trip … just about promoting your golf club?” an Irish reporter asked.
The cheek! How could anybody accuse this man of self-promotion?
Dana Milbank is a Washington Post columnist. Follow him on Twitter, @Milbank.