That was on "Face the Nation" today, in answer to probing by John Dickerson about whether Trump is getting intelligence briefings. Priebus says he is — "it feels like every day." And then:
I’m not sure if it is every day. But it’s a lot. And that’s who he is. It’s someone who studies and someone that wants to be informed and it’s someone who asks a lot of questions and listens.Dickerson asks if Trump is "a details guy," and Priebus says "He is a details guy," and then "I would say it’s he’s a Socratic method guy" and the rest of the quote I've set out above.
Dickerson asks Priebus what he does when Trump tweets something that's not true, such as when he said there were millions of illegal votes in California. Priebus's lame response was that we don't know it's not true. Dickerson patiently, politely nailed him:
I guess [the] question is, when you’re president, can you just offer a theory that has no evidence behind it, or does he have to tighten up his standard of proof?We all know the answer to that question, but I appreciate that Dickerson had the presence of mind to put it in the form of a question... especially nice, since Priebus had just expressed admiration for the Socratic method. What can Priebus say (except You got me, Socrates)? He makes a lateral leap:
I think he’s done a great job. I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country, has not taken conventional thought on every single issue. And it’s caused people to look at things that maybe they have taken for granted.Priebus distracts us onto the subject of Trump's ability to distract us with some new nutty thing. Hey, here's a theory! Ever think about it that way? Then Priebus brings up the flag-burning issue. That was a faux pas from Trump, wasn't it? So why shift to that? Priebus says flag-burning "is an 80% issue" — meaning (I presume) that 80% of Americans want to punish protesters who burn flags as a way of expressing themselves.
And then you watch the news media and they say, well, it’s constitutional. Well, right, it is constitutional...He means the Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to burn the flag as symbolic expression.
... and but it doesn’t mean it’s not a subject for debate and discussion for the Supreme Court to revisit down the road.That is, a Supreme Court opinion on a constitutional matter does not stop the conversation about what the constitution means. A case can be overruled. And a Supreme Court appointment is in the offing. What issues will come to the foreground as we grill the new nominee? Why not make it flag burning? Whether the flag-burning decision is ever overruled, there's political advantage in getting us talking about how we feel about it.
America! The flag!
It's an 80% issue.