Editing Trump’s Hannity Interview (mostly for pronoun usage)

Hi there, President Trump. Here are my edits from the interview last night. Like you asked, I mostly limited my suggestions to specific copy edits. In some places, I asked you to consider substantive changes, but — of course — those are up to you! Unfortunately, I only had the chance to edit the first 10% of your interview. If anything is unclear I’d be happy to chat about my revision.

Have a quiet weekend (please),


[k1] Maybe something more general here? “Done” might be a good verb here, or even “signed” if you are looking for specificity.

[k2] Good. This line comes across as honest and frank.

[k3] This seems a little ambiguous… Are you referencing a specific conflict? I feel like you are. If that’s true, you should name it for your audience. Otherwise, just disregard this comment!

[k4] Doubling down on this might have the opposite effect on your audience. If this point is too emphasized, it might make the reader uneasy.

[k5] “Correct” or another affirmative phrase might fit better here. I can only read “totally extreme” in the voice of those bullies from Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Have you seen that movie, Mr. President? I feel like you wouldn’t like it….

[k6] You’re drawing a lot of attention to what we “will have” in this section — it’s very future oriented. For contrast, it would be good to describe our current (or past) system. How have we vetted immigrants and refugees? This sentence, as it’s written, implies that our country has never done something like this.

[k7] See above comment ^^

[k8] Vague, even with the mentions of three geographic locations — of varying sizes — the city of Nice, the continent of Europe, and the country of Germany. Consider adding more specificity for your audience. And pick a size.

[k9] I don’t think this is a word (unless you say, “[someone] gambles”)

[k10] This sentence does a good job of building narrative drama and suspense. It would be worthwhile to get specific here. Your audience will definitely be interested in what you — the President — found out so much about!

[k11] So these 1,000 investigations are all immigrants or refugees? As a reader, this part is a bit muddled….

[k12] The antecedent of “this” seems to be “people”, so you should edit this to read, “We don’t need them, all right? We don’t need them.” That would be more consistent, especially looking to the next sentence!

[k13] Interesting narrative decision! Do you mean to undermine the admission made right before this? If so, this “I guess” is incredibly effective.

[k14] “throwing something up” gives your audience a more graphic image than I think you intended.

[k15] I’m getting the sense that “we” is a very specific group in this conversation. It would be good to establish that early on. Who do you think of when you think we?

[k16] Next, you say “we” in the context of the government, but right before this you include Sean Hannity in “we”. Does that mean “we” includes you, government officials, and Sean Hannity?

[k17] Oh, so immigrants and refugees have been vetted? This would be good to mention earlier. That way, you can focus your argument less on vetting has never occurred and more on what you think is bad vetting.

[k18] As a reader, when you double down on this, it makes me doubt your reliability.

[k19] I think you should address Sean Hannity here because you’ve just used “you” in a lot of ways (see previous paragraph). It would be good to state his name — that way you can pivot the use of “you” to just him.

[k20] Who has FBI agents? The paperless immigrants? If so, this should be a real point of emphasis. This could even be the focus of your entire conversation with Sean Hannity.

[k21] The problems you had with “you” in the previous paragraph seems to be happening with “they” now…

[k22] This is true.

[k23] This seems to undermine your admission one sentence earlier.

[k24] Can you tell the audience more about how being “very tough” and “very vigilant” as a country relates to better security?

Overall, Mister President, I think the bones of your argument are there. You make it clear that, in your eyes, dangerous and paperless immigrants (who may or may not be in the majority) require “extreme vetting” if we aim to stop them and their 1,000 FBI agent-henchmen. I’d suggest you just make it apparent who your pronouns refer to (we, you, them). Also, if you could compare your plans to existing ones, that would help your audience out tremendously.

Can’t wait to see the next draft!