• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Donald Trump Is A Serial Liar, Even When It Comes To Trivial Issues

Donald Trump Shrug

Last week, President Trump gave a highly partisan speech to the quadrennial Boy Scout Jamboree that a leader of the organization later ended up apologizing for. Notwithing standing that apology, Trump maintains that his speech was “great” and that the Boy Scouts told him so:

President Trump said the head of the Boy Scouts called his recent address “the greatest speech that was ever made to them,” days before the chief scout executive apologized for the president’s remarks.

Trump faced criticism for the speech last Monday, which many saw as inappropriately political for the jamboree setting.

Trump denied to The Wall Street Journal that there was any “mixed” reaction to his speech, noting the standing ovations from the crowd. His comments to the Journal were first made public in a transcript of the interview Politico published Tuesday.

“And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” Trump said. “So there was — there was no mix.”

The Boy Scouts, however, are basically denying that any such call took place:

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, President Donald Trump said the Boy Scouts called him after his highly criticized speech at the National Jamboree and told him it was “the greatest speech that was ever made to them.”

But the Boy Scouts told Time that officials are unaware of that phone call.

“The Chief Scout Executive’s message to the Scouting community speaks for itself,” the organization told Time, referring to a statement a top Boy Scouts executive made last week after backlash against Trump’s speech, which critics equated to a campaign rally.

Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh apologized for the “political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree.”

This isn’t the most consequential issue out there, of course, but it is yet another example of how this President finds himself able to tell bald-faced lies about even the most trivial subjects, especially when they boost him or his reputation. It’s been something that Trump was regularly guilty of both during the time before he was a candidate for President, during the campaign, and after he became President. Before he became a candidate, for example, Trump often claimed that his television shows The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, were huge successes in the ratings. The truth is that, while The Apprentice was a Top 25 show in its two first seasons, it never came close to being the top-rated show on television.(SourceCelebrity Apprentice, meanwhile, was never a Top 25 show and only made it into the Top 50 in its first season, and that both shows declined in their ratings as the years went along. (Source)  The main reason that NBC apparently kept airing it is that, like most other “reality” shows, it was relatively inexpensive for the network. Similarly a year ago, Trump claimed that the National Football League had sent him a letter complaining about the fact that two of the planned Presidential debates had been set for nights on which the league had scheduled games. The NFL denied that any such letter had been sent, and Trump never produced a copy of such a letter despite numerous requests from the media. On his first full day in office, Trump crafted an obvious lie about the size of the crowd at his Inauguration the day before that he made his new Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeat and defend in his first briefing to the media, a performance that set the tone for the sour relationship between the Trump White House and the White House Press Corps that has continued to this day. More recently, several Trump golf courses had hung a Time Magazine cover featuring Trump that turned out to be utterly fake.

As I said, these are all relatively trivial issues, and if the President’s duplicitousness were limited to minor issues such as this then perhaps it wouldn’t be noteworthy. The reality, of course, is that these trivial examples are just the less serious side of a more serious problem, which is the fact that the President and the Administration are seeing fit to withhold the truth, mislead with irrelevant information, and outright lie when it comes to important issues as well. The most recent example of that, of course, is the revelation yesterday that the President participated directly in the drafting of the first statement that was released in the wake of the revelations regarding his son’s meeting with a lawyer tied to the Russian government, a statement that turned out to be a lie. In the first two months of his Presidency, Trump repeated on Twitter an easily disproven lie regarding the prisoners released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay during the Obama Administration.These are only two examples of lies the Trump Administration has told. The New York Times has been tracking them and has a list updated through July 21t.

The most serious of Trump’s lies, of course, came in connection with the investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election and contact between people associated with his campaign and Russian officials.

In early May fired F.B.I. Director James Comey just days after Comey had testified regarding the Bureau’s ongoing investigation into the Russia matter. Initially, the Administration claimed that Comey’s dismissal was due to his conduct during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server and the manner in which she handled classified information. This was detailed in a memorandum written by Assistant Attorney General Rob Rosenstein in support of Comey’s dismissal that specifically cited the press conference in which Comey announced that the investigation would be closed without charges being brought and the letter he sent Congress in October advising that the Bureau was reopening the investigation. The veracity of the official White House story was significantly undermined, however, when it was revealed that Rosenstein knew that Comey would be fired before he ever started drafting the memorandum. Fairly quickly it became apparent that Comey may have been fired due to Trump’s frustration with the Russia investigation, something that Trump himself seemed to confirm. Trump topped off this admission by appearing to threaten Comey with ‘tapes’ of conversations between the two men. Last week, we learned that Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation of Trump’s former National Security Advisor Lt. General Michael Flynn. Trump also apparently admitted to the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the U.S. that he had fired Comey due to the Russia investigation during an Oval Office meeting. Since then, we’ve seen more reports indicating that it was in fact the Russia investigation that led to Trump removing Comey, an action that has been followed by rumors that he could fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller himself, or even Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as part of what looks for all the world like an effort to hinder the investigation of people close to him. At one point, Trump responded to all of this by essentially saying on Twitter that he was too busy to tell the truth.

Admittedly, inflating the truth or not providing complete information is something that politicians in general and Presidents in particular have done in the past and will continue to do in the future. Sometimes, not providing complete information is necessary to protect national security or for other legitimate reasons. With the possible exception of the Nixon Administration during the height of Watergate, though, I don’t think this country has seen a President Whether it’s about trivial matters or more serious ones, there’s something obviously concerning about a President and an Administration that finds it so easy to lie on a regular basis. Additionally, the fact that Trump finds it necessary to lie even about trivial matters like the ratings of his reality show, the crowd at his Inauguration, or the reaction to his speech to the Boy Scouts says something about his personality and raises obvious questions about why the nation should believe anything he or his subordinates say going forward. This raises an obvious question about the President’s ability to lead the nation if and when a serious national or international crisis occurs during his time in office, as it undoubtedly will. We’re at the point now where the President of the United States is mimicking Homer Simpson:

Unlike Homer, though, it’s not funny when the President does it.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Turns out that Snowflake cheats at golf, too…
    http://www.golf.com/tour-news/2017/08/01/president-donald-trump-relationship-golf-more-complicated-now
    What I find odd is that nearly 40% of this country is happy to have Don-the-Con lie to them. This includes many regular commenters here at OTB. John666, Jack, Guarneri, etc.
    Dumb Don is clearly a great role model for today’s youth.
    But when every word out of his mouth is a lie…what do you think it means when he is adamant that there was no collusion?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  2. Joe says:

    sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. teve tory says:

    I literally came here seconds after reading these tweets:

    “Daniel Dale‏Verified account @ddale8 15h15 hours ago

    Trump lied about the BOY SCOUTS. A senior Scouts source says there was no call at all, let alone a call telling him his speech was the best.
    1,746 replies 19,456 retweets 43,461 likes
    Reply 1.7K Retweet 19K Like 43K Direct message

    “Daniel Dale‏Verified account
    @ddale8
    Follow
    More
    Daniel Dale Retweeted Daniel Dale
    To repeat: the Boy Scouts say this call, described in detail by the president of the United States, did not happen.”

    “Daniel DaleVerified account @ddale8
    Replying to @ddale8
    Trump: "I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them."
    4:40 PM – 1 Aug 2017”

    Kudos to OtB for being on the case!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  4. de stijl says:

    @teve tory:

    Maybe it was a butt dial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. teve tory says:

    If the President Lies, Does It Matter?

    by JAY NORDLINGER August 2, 2017 9:26 AM @JAYNORDLINGER

    The president was talking about the speech he had given to the Boy Scouts. He said, “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.” The Scouts organization says there was no call. In fact, the head of the Scouts, Michael Surbaugh, issued a statement apologizing to the scouting community for the partisan political nature of Trump’s speech.

    Earlier, the president had talked about the speech he had given in Warsaw. “Enemies of mine are saying it was the greatest speech ever made on foreign soil by a president.”

    Is that true? Have enemies said that?

    Earlier, the president had talked about the speech he had given in Congress. “Some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.”

    Is that true? Did anyone say that? Does it matter?

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/450077/if-president-lies-does-it-matter

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  6. teve tory says:

    @de stijl:

    @teve tory:

    Maybe it was a butt dial.

    Anyone who calls trump is calling an ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  7. John Peabody says:

    “His supporters taken him seriously, but not literally. His detractors take him literally [including lies, exaggerations], but not seriously.” I forget where I saw this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. de stijl says:

    Like, maybe Dale’s phone was in the back pocket of his khaki shorts.

    And he was chatting with his buddy about new trends in instructional knot tying infographics, the conversation suddenly veered onto the Gettysburg Address, he leaned back against the desk, and accidentally butt dialed Trump.

    That could totally happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. JKB says:

    Trump is the post-modern President. All facts are relative and a cultural appropriation or something.

    Not to mention, the nation was prepped by the “I did not have sex with that woman…” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Of course, those lies were of no importance since, you know, Democrat. Hell, I don’t particularly subscribe to it, but there is the “Weapons of mass destruction” meme.

    All in all, I thought the DemProg/NeverTrumper theme was Trump was not politically savvy? He seems to be playing the politician quite well. So far, Trump’s boast have had the salubrious effect of keeping DC and the MSM all atwitter with no “slow news days”. And staff season in DC is quickly approaching. (Two seasons where DC denizens try to do a bit of work, Labor Day-Thanksgiving and January 3rd – Memorial Day)

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 45

  10. reid says:

    @JKB: Shorter: One lie = 1,000 lies. Lying is okay with me now.

    Trump is not politically savvy. His poll numbers have always been in the toilet. Most people dislike him at the least. Unfortunately, there are more deplorables out there than imagined, so 30% or so will always love him, even if he shoots someone on 5th Avenue (especially so if it’s a minority or Democrat). This happens to be just enough to win an election. Donnie is so out of his element and incompetent that he will never improve, though. Enjoy the crap-show that is your nation’s “leadership”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  11. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    Not to mention, the nation was prepped by the “I did not have sex with that woman…” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”.

    You keep coming up with the same two examples…where with your Dear Leader we often get two examples a fwcking day.
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html
    Which only tells me that you are a complete dupe. You should be proud of that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  12. Joe says:

    @John Peabody:

    I have seen this saying too, but even if his supporters really don’t take him literally, what message do they gather from random lies – like the Boy Scouts said how great the speech was or “after consulting with my generals”? Shouldn’t there be some coded message or dog whistle they would quickly understand?

    Alternatively, him speaking is becoming increasingly meaningless. Fine for entertainment value, but kind of a problem if we ever need a leader in the next 3.5 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    He seems to be playing the politician quite well.

    Yeah, 37% approval is really “doing well” as a politician. You keep on choking that chicken.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  14. Moosebreath says:

    @reid:

    “Shorter: One lie = 1,000 lies. Lying is okay with me now.”

    No, that’s not it. The Shorter version of JKB is: Your guy lies — that is proof that he is evil. My guy lies — no big deal.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  15. reid says:

    @Moosebreath: Indeed. There’s so much hypocrisy and stupidity here that it’s difficult to distill it all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Kevin Drum: (no link, avoiding the ever hateful spam bot)

    74% of Republicans trust Trump more than CNN.
    71% of Republicans trust Trump more than the NY Times or the Wa Post.
    70% of Republicans trust Trump more than the Weekly Standard.
    68% of Republicans trust Trump more than National Review.

    Republicans trust Trump by enormous margins over mainstream news sources. They trust Trump by enormous margins over conservative news sources. And they even trust Trump by 2:1 over Fox News (54 percent vs. 23 percent).

    In other words, reporting what Trump does hardly has any effect. In fact, it probably helps Trump since most Republicans figure it’s just more lies and fake news designed to make their guy look bad. As a result, here are a few thing Republicans believe:

    -44 percent say Obamacare has been a “complete” failure.
    -47 percent explicitly say that punishing biased news outlets is more important than protecting freedom of the press.
    -28 percent approve of creating a single-payer system for the US, even though only 15 percent approve of Obamacare.
    -54 percent think the FBI investigation of Trump is a politically motivated attempt to embarrass him, and 65 percent approve of Trump’s firing of James Comey.
    -68 percent think Trump understands important issues “in detail.”

    The results are in. The vast majority of Republicans are brain dead.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  17. Terrye Cravens says:

    @JKB: I just love it when people defend Trump’s obvious dishonesty by deflecting. Clinton told a lie, and Obama was wrong about keeping your doctor…hence it is okay fine for Donald Trump to be a pathological liar. See how that works?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Terrye Cravens:
    Also Abel killed Cain so murder is OK now.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  19. Terrye Cravens says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes. It never ends.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Obama was wrong about keeping your doctor

    Actually, I kept my Doctor so, JKB can’t even identify a lie properly…which explains why he enjoys Don-the-Con lying to him.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  21. michael reynolds says:

    The question growing in my mind is whether I was (gasp) wrong to say Trump is stupid. I’m increasingly concerned that what looked like sheer imbecility may be dementia as well. I’ve dealt with some people in early stages of dementia and Trump fits the bill. Of course either way Trump is an idiot, the question is this: Is he just an idiot? Or is he an idiot with Alzheimers?

    At age 24 I was questioned by two detectives. I was about 1000% better then at keeping my lies straight than Trump is. This guy’s criminal tradecraft is just pathetic. He’s literally as dumb as those stories you read of criminals who tape their crime and put it on Facebook. Every day he wakes up and asks himself, “What stupid fwcking thing can I say today that will end up being evidence against me?” It’s like he has a compulsion to get caught. Call it stupidity, dementia or a combination of the two (my guess) but this maroon is perfectly capable of Tweeting a full confession.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  22. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Call it stupidity, dementia or a combination of the two (my guess) but this maroon is perfectly capable of Tweeting a full confession.

    Yes…I’ve long said that any capable 1st-year law student could easily manipulate Snowflake into a dime-store version of Col. Jessup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: Correction:

    President Donald Trump plunges to a new low as American voters disapprove 61 – 33 percent of the job he is doing, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. White men are divided 47 – 48 percent and Republicans approve 76 – 17 percent. White voters with no college degree, a key part of the president’s base, disapprove 50 – 43 percent.

    Today’s approval rating is down from a 55 – 40 percent disapproval in a June 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. This is President Trump’s lowest approval and highest disapproval number since he was inaugurated.

    American voters say 54 – 26 percent that they are embarrassed rather than proud to have Trump as president. Voters say 57 – 40 percent he is abusing the powers of his office and say 60 – 36 percent that he believes he is above the law.

    Yes, trump is a master politician. Political scientists will study his admin for decades.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  24. Jen says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m increasingly concerned that what looked like sheer imbecility may be dementia as well.

    My grandfather had Alzheimer’s, and I absolutely think that Trump is showing signs of dementia.

    The most obvious indicator is to compare his ability to speak extemporaneously. Go to video interviews of him 20-30 years ago, and compare those to him now. The change in fluency and the ability to structure a sentence is truly alarming. Another rather telling indicator was the insistence throughout the campaign to return home every night, and his tendency to prefer to remain in familiar surroundings–remember all of the angst surrounding his first foreign trip? This too is a sign of dementia, when the sufferer is still able to realize what is going on. It’s a form of control when they realize their minds are slipping.

    Other indicators: flash-point temper, anger, inability to remember what he’s said…all of this *could* be dementia. I’m not a doctor but I have seen it before.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  25. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Dementia may be a factor but by far it’s a symptom of his personality disorder. Compulsory lies about even the most trivial thing are part of NPD – the key to understanding it is they’re not *trivial* to the liar but rather an opportunity to boost themselves up. Every lie he tells exists to paint him in a better light (in his eyes) so consistency isn’t an issue, only the image boost. He’s never had to keep them straight because the impression left on the listener is the point, not the “fact”. This is why Trumpkins laud him as being so awesome – they retain the constant ego stroking like Silly Putty but lose the details and definition from repeated stretching. Silly Putty is fun, kids!!….. until you pick up a shapeless mass of it and remember what a crappy toy it really is.

    Mental illness doesn’t go away with age – it just becomes co-morbid. He’ll definitely tweet out a confession if he thinks it will make him look like a bigger man. He doesn’t care about getting caught – he cares about looking like a schnook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  26. teve tory says:

    Not to mention, the nation was prepped by the “I did not have sex with that woman…” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”.

    “I did not have sex with that woman” was the only thing that came out, after a 5-year, $100 million dollar investigation into the Clintons. And came out reluctantly. Whereas Trump eagerly lies, voluntarily, on a daily basis.

    “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Which was incorrect for a small percentage of the population.

    When a defense is as weak as JKB’s best, it has the opposite effect. It reaffirms our positions.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  27. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He’s literally as dumb as those stories you read of criminals who tape their crime and put it on Facebook.

    But the thing is, he’s ensconced in a system that protects him. That’s why a few months ago I compared him to the characters from Fargo, a smart movie about dumb criminals who very nearly get away with their crimes.

    Even now, I’d place a better than even chance that he’s still in the White House by 2020. The Trumpkins will never abandon him no matter what gets revealed, the establishment Republicans don’t have the balls to take on the Trumpkins, and resigning would be a most un-Trumpian thing to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. KM says:

    @teve tory:

    “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Which was incorrect for a small percentage of the population.

    What I never got about that is why those people didn’t get pissed at their *doctors*. Your physician literally told you that you weren’t worth it as a patient because they couldn’t make a big enough profit on you and it’s the ACA’s fault? Or worse, that their ideology superseded your care because they wouldn’t go along with “socialized medicine” or a Democrat’s plan. Either way, your doctor made their priorities clear: not you or your health. But hey, O-care’s evil so that’s the problem, amirite?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  29. alanstorm says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: ..as oppsed to all Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  30. alanstorm says:

    @Terrye Cravens: Like all liberals, you misunderstand the intent. It’s not that it’s OK to lie because of prior Democratic dishonesty. It’s just that, having fellated Clinton and Obama for lying continuously, your standing to complain is gone.

    That said, it IS fun to imagine all of you waving your little fists in righteous indignation.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 32

  31. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Is he just an idiot? Or is he an idiot with Alzheimers?

    He doesn’t have Alzheimers. He has just been a pathological liar his entire life. He can’t stop. He doesn’t need a reason. It’s a habit. He probably doesn’t even know he’s doing it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  32. teve tory says:

    @Kylopod: “But the thing is, he’s ensconced in a system that protects him.”

    I don’t exactly understand trump’s behavior, but you hit on a big part of it. Trump’s a spoiled trust-fund jerk who has lied without consequence his entire life. His M.O. is thoroughly a part of him at this point. Asking him to stop lying, or even understand there are consequences, would be like asking him to describe the UV patterns on flowers. He just won’t even be able to see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  33. James Pearce says:

    @alanstorm:

    That said, it IS fun to imagine all of you waving your little fists in righteous indignation.

    Probably should have just imagined it, then….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  34. Tony W says:

    @michael reynolds: Or maybe he’s just super smart!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. Moosebreath says:

    @alanstorm:

    “It’s just that, having fellated Clinton and Obama for lying continuously, your standing to complain is gone.”

    When each and every word in your premise is wrong, then your conclusion is…

    totally par for the course for our Banana Republican party.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  36. SenyorDave says:

    @alanstorm: Obama for lying continuously

    Please elaborate on Obama’s continuous lies. he was president for eight years, you should be able to come up with hundreds of lies.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  37. Pete S says:

    @michael reynolds:

    @Terrye Cravens:
    Also Abel killed Cain so murder is OK now.

    Wrong. Hillary Clinton killed Abel. Trump will be sharing proof with Fox News shortly.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  38. teve tory says:

    @James Pearce: People have pointed out for years that low-info conservatives don’t have any principles anymore, just hostility. And Cleek’s Law. Alan’s not smart enough to understand he’s just demonstrating that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  39. Hal_10000 says:

    I’ve said this before, but Trump is more of a BSer than a liar. A lair cares about the truth. Trump just says whatever pops into his head and if it overlaps with the truth, it’s by sheer accident.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  40. teve tory says:

    @Pete S: ABELGHAZI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111 We need to convene one or twelve congressional investigations POST HASTE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The question growing in my mind is whether I was (gasp) wrong to say Trump is stupid. I’m increasingly concerned that what looked like sheer imbecility may be dementia as well. I’ve dealt with some people in early stages of dementia and Trump fits the bill.

    I’ve had the same thought more than once. My father suffered from dementia for about 10 years preceding his death. Trump’s behavior–especially his patterns of speech and word choice–is scarily similar to my dad’s at the start of that timeline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. Kylopod says:

    @JKB:

    Not to mention, the nation was prepped by the “I did not have sex with that woman…” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Of course, those lies were of no importance since, you know, Democrat. Hell, I don’t particularly subscribe to it, but there is the “Weapons of mass destruction” meme.

    Find me 1 Democrat in 1000 who believes that Bill Clinton was telling the truth when he declared he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. In contrast, as late as 2015 there was a poll indicating that half of all Republicans still believed there were WMDs in Iraq. Similarly, a poll earlier this year showed that most Republicans believe in the massive size of Trump’s inauguration crowd, a claim as moronically easy to disprove as the statement “It’s raining out” on a sunny day. They believe it for one reason, and one reason only: because Trump said it.

    You’re confusing the issue of belief in lies with the proper way to react to them. Most Democrats–and many Republicans–didn’t think Clinton’s lies during the Lewinsky scandal merited impeachment and removal from office. That doesn’t imply they approved of his behavior or were saying his lies weren’t lies.

    As for “you can keep your doctor,” keep in mind that it concerned a law that has in fact led to a reduction in the uninsured rate by tens of millions of people and has driven medical inflation to record lows. In light of those facts, the Republican obsession with a fib over choice of physicians suggests people who don’t exactly have their priorities straight. It in no way compares to the Republican lies told about health care, from “death panels” to Trump’s repeated claims to be pushing health care for everyone when in reality he was pursuing policies that would have done little more than strip health insurance from millions.

    And no, that doesn’t mean I’m saying Clinton’s or Obama’s lies were okay. But it’s like complaining about drivers going 10 mph over the highway speed limit when there’s someone going 130 in a school zone.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  43. teve tory says:

    The anger and hostility that defines people like Alan is over 50 years old. Prior to that the GOP were mild-mannered Northeasterners like Eisenhower. Nixon and Buchanan went through the South in the 50’s/60’s and saw how angry white southerners were about desegregation imposed from Washington. “Rhetoric that burned the paint off the walls.” IIRC. The GOP hostility to the federal government, and cultural elites, and even the origin of the Religious Right trace back to that anger. Jerry Falwell and Bob Jones didn’t initially combine forces to oppose abortion. They combined forces to keep blacks out of Falwell’s Lynchburg Christian School and Bob Jones University. That anger at the Feds, and the elite and intellectuals, still smolders in the GOP to this day. Hence the delight they feel in trying to hurt the other side.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  44. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @alanstorm:

    having fellated Clinton and Obama for lying continuously,

    Continuously? You’ll have to back that up with some…you know…facts.
    Here, I’ll help. Polifact says 2% of Obama’s claims were “pants on fire”, 12% were false, and 21% were true.
    For Trump: 15% are “pants on fire”, 32% are false, and 5% of what he says is actually true.
    You and your banana republican toadies are truly gullible little fwcks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Hal_10000: you’re absolutely correct about the BS. During the campaign I frequently cited Frank’s book “On Bullsh*t”. But I think it’s beyond that now. There is something deeply wrong with Trump. He cannot comprehend anything beyond his own ego. And I mean that literally. Increasingly he lives inside his own head and it doesn’t even register that the people he is addressing might have a different perspective. Did you see the New York Times interview where they basically gently led him into making a complete fool of himself? The impression I got was that in his mind he was winning them over and he couldn’t even perceive any other possibility.

    And just to be clear, when I say there is something wrong with him, I don’t mean that he is bad at understanding people’s point of view. I mean that he literally no longer appears to perceive it. There is a rare type of brain damage where someone is unable to perceive anything on one side even though it is in their field of vision. A sufferer can end up leaving uneaten all the food on, say, the right side of their plate and then complaining about still being hungry. That’s what I’m talking about with Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  46. teve tory says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Facts:Conservatives::Bullets:Superman

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Today RCP has Snowflake’s average approval rating at 38.2…a nadir for Dumb Don.
    Congress is getting ready to leave for break a week early. We will see what kind of support they are willing to lend him after they hear from constituents for a month.
    My guess is that it won’t be nearly the support alanstorm and JKB are willing to give him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. pylon says:

    Funny how JKB skips from Clinton to Obama. No mention of yellowcake or aluminum tubes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  49. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory:

    Prior to that the GOP were mild-mannered Northeasterners like Eisenhower.

    Small nitpick: While Ike was a favorite of the so-called “Eastern establishment,” he was no Northeasterner himself: he was born in Texas and raised in Kansas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. teve tory says:

    You’re right. But I still see him as essentially part of that non-thumper, non-moron NE establishment, like GHWB, Nelson Rockefeller, etc. Hard to imagine, but the GOP used to have a lot of smart, responsible, reasonable, educated, moderate people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  51. teve tory says:

    BTW, is it true trump called the White House “A real dump?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  52. James Pearce says:

    @MarkedMan:

    There is a rare type of brain damage where someone is unable to perceive anything on one side even though it is in their field of vision.

    While I understand the urge to pin this on some kind of medical/mental issue, I think the truth is much more pedestrian: He has no character.

    He’s a charming dude with a toxic personality…and no character.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  53. Jen says:

    @teve tory:

    part of that non-thumper, non-moron NE establishment, like GHWB, Nelson Rockefeller, etc.

    On that subject, apparently* Gov. LePage (Maine) has a piece in the WSJ today that completely tears into Senators Collins and King for their healthcare votes. So what is left of the non-moron NE establishment (Collins) gets attacked when she votes in line with her state.

    *I don’t have a subscription, they were talking about it on public radio a little bit ago, so I haven’t read it, but Politico has an interesting rundown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. Moosebreath says:

    @teve tory:

    “BTW, is it true trump called the White House “A real dump?””

    Supposedly so:

    “The story recounts a scene in which Trump was chatting with some club members. Trump told the members he makes such frequent appearances at the property in Bedminster, New Jersey, because: “That White House is a real dump.””

    One can scarcely imagine how Fox News would have responded if Obama said that. It would be even worse than when Obama put his feet on the Oval Office desk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  55. teve tory says:

    On that subject, apparently* Gov. LePage (Maine) has a piece in the WSJ today that completely tears into Senators Collins and King for their healthcare votes. So what is left of the non-moron NE establishment (Collins) gets attacked when she votes in line with her state.

    There’s lots of video of random people in airports in ME applauding her and thanking her for that vote. If my decisions brought applause from ordinary Americans, and spite and complaint from paul MFing lepage, i’d feel pretty good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  56. CSK says:

    @teve tory:

    Who are now loathed by the Trumpkins precisely because they are (or were) “smart, responsible, reasonable, educated, moderate people.” People like that are not only un-American, you know, they’re metrosexual socialist pansies.

    The only true patriots are boobs, oafs, charlatans, and buffoons.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  57. Joe says:

    @michael reynolds:
    @James Pearce:

    I don’t doubt Trump has no character, but has he never been able to articulate basic economics principals? My brother has early onset Alzheimer’s. He was an insurance broker, and a very good one. His disease became ever more apparent because he could still talk “about” insurance, but he could not explain how to “do” anything. I sat in an interview with him where someone was asking him how to make a claim on a policy and he repeatedly responded with an explanation that he offered insurance for such claims. Not only was he not answering the question, he had no idea he was not answering the question. I see some of that in the extended interviews of Trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  58. CSK says:

    @teve tory:

    Well, of course the WH is a dump by Trumpian standards. No gold-plated toilets. No gen-you-wine fake marble countertops. And the furniture! My God, some of this crap is 250 years old! Forget the rugs and floors; who would have Aubusson and oak when you could have great acrylic wall-to-wall?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. al-Alameda says:

    @JKB:

    Not to mention, the nation was prepped by the “I did not have sex with that woman…” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Of course, those lies were of no importance since, you know, Democrat. Hell, I don’t particularly subscribe to it, but there is the “Weapons of mass destruction” meme.

    Thanks for reminding all of us that prior to Bill Clinton, in the entire history of elected officials in all offices (local, statewide and national) not one elected official ever lied about extramarital sex. In fact, and I’ll Google this later, but I believe that no American male non-politician ever lied about extramarital sex either.

    So, you’re right. Clinton made it okay for American men to have all the extramarital affairs that they want.

    Two final thoughts / questions:
    (1) Do you think this result was an intended consequence?
    (2) Do think that this caused Hillary use a private e-mail server?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @alanstorm: And here we have the proof, absolutely unequivocally brain dead. .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  61. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    What you say is true. But bear in mind that Trump may be speaking gibberish because he knows that’s what his cultists want to hear. The present Trumpkins are the past Palinistas, and they adored Palin’s babble not just because it made her sound like a “real American” but because they could read into it anything they wished. I suspect the same principal is operating here.

    Trump isn’t smart, but he’s an expert at manipulating a certain class of suckers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  62. teve tory says:

    Who are now loathed by the Trumpkins precisely because they are (or were) “smart, responsible, reasonable, educated, moderate people.” People like that are not only un-American, you know, they’re metrosexual socialist pansies.

    The only true patriots are boobs, oafs, charlatans, and buffoons.

    Like the other day when that dumbass said the two important reasons to vote for kid rock as senator is to piss off not only liberals, but also piss off George Will and other Republicans who can read and tie their shoes.

    They’re just angry insecure dipshits, lashing out at anyone better than they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. teve tory says:

    There’s a fun meme going around FB right now:

    In the evening, when Michelle and the girls have gone to bed, I sometimes walk down the hall to a room Abraham Lincoln used as his office. It contains an original copy of the Gettysburg Address, written in Lincoln’s own hand. I linger on these few words that have helped define our American experiment: “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Through the lines of weariness etched in his face, we know Lincoln grasped, perhaps more than anyone, the burdens required to give these words meaning.

    -President Barack Obama, 2013

    “That White House is a real dump.”

    -President Donald Trump, 2017

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  64. Yank says:

    They’re just angry insecure dipshits, lashing out at anyone better than they

    It is the final grasp of power by mediocre white men.

    They know that time is ticking for them and days of getting ahead by virtue of being white is coming to end, so they are lashing out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  65. @OzarkHillbilly: All very troubling stats and clear evidence of the power of partisanship. It is also direct evidence of the importance of Trump’s role as head of party, despite some articles I have seen that Trump is a “party of one” or that argue he is separating from the GOP in some way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  66. @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Actually, I kept my Doctor so, JKB can’t even identify a lie properly…which explains why he enjoys Don-the-Con lying to him.

    Indeed, when it comes to identifying a “lie” the Obama line about doctors. Indeed, the quote was, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,”–he was wrong for some people. He was not wrong for all people. It is the kind of statement that he should not have made. It was wrong enough for enough people to be a major mistake. I would not classify it as a lie, per se, unless he was willfully stating an untruth that he knew to be false for the purpose of misleading people. Odds are, he thought it was true.

    Contrast that with flat out making up things. Trump flat out made up a phone call (two, in fact, as there is a claim about a Mexico phone call that also appears to be a fantasy). That is a whole other level of lying.

    To defend this is to defend moral bankruptcy. To defend this is to place party above basic fidelity to basic truth.

    This isn’t Trump spinning or trying to bolster a particular interpretation of an event. It isn’t even using weasel words and ambiguity (as Clinton was doing). He is straight up making things up.

    Why defend it?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  67. @Steven L. Taylor: Post above edited to insert an important “not” into a sentence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  68. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Political scientists will study his admin for decades.

    That part is true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  69. @Steven L. Taylor:

    It isn’t even using weasel words and ambiguity (as Clinton was doing).

    BTW, that should not be construed as a defense of Clinton. He was clearly trying to define “sex” as a specific act whilst eliding a number of activities that usually would usually fall under the general rubric of “sex” in common parlance. It did create a ridiculous public debate, ultimately, as to whether oral sex was, in fact, sex. He was clearly obfuscating and being dishonest.

    I still put this is a different category than flat out making up facts to suit one’s own reality.

    More to the point: I expect human beings, when publicly confronted about personal (and professional) shortcomings to dissemble (although I am not defending it).

    However, I also expect human beings to not make up facts and assert them as reality.

    Indeed, the low stakes of the lie in question is troubling because it suggests his threshold for dishonesty is pretty damn low. Not to mention the nature of this lie is very much about his own ego.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  70. Jen says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I still put this is a different category than flat out making up facts to suit one’s own reality.

    Last night on CNN, one of the panelists on, I think, Anderson Cooper’s show referred to an event that I found a bit surprising. The USA Today reporter recalled an interview she had with Trump, which was recorded. He later was surprised–she said he truly seemed baffled–as to why she had included something in the story that he claimed he “never said.” He had, twice, and she had a recording of it. She said he genuinely didn’t appear to believe he had said what he HAD, definitively and clearly, said. This was between the time the interview was conducted and when the story was written, in other words, not much time at all.

    Whether it is recasting history or short term memory loss (again, a warning sign of dementia/Alzheimer’s) I don’t know. But it is alarming.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  71. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    (referring to the Obama “lie”) It was wrong enough for enough people to be a major mistake. I would not classify it as a lie, per se, unless he was willfully stating an untruth that he knew to be false for the purpose of misleading people. Odds are, he thought it was true.

    I agree FWIW, but here’s a question… How many people did Obamacare force to change their doctor? (for example my brother complained bitterly because his doctor left the network that my brother had been enrolled with – so he blamed Obama).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  72. teve tory says:

    Indeed, the low stakes of the lie in question is troubling because it suggests his threshold for dishonesty is pretty damn low. Not to mention the nature of this lie is very much about his own ego.

    Unearned privilege corrupts the soul.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  73. Hal_10000 says:

    @JKB:

    Look, I’ll talk about the Clintons’ dishonesty until the cows come home. They did tend to lie, even about trivial stuff. One little example: I remember Bill, during the church burning panic, claiming he remembered churches being burned in Arkansas only to have the SPLC clarify that never happened. If the Clintons said water was wet, I’d check.

    But … first, this was *bad* thing. It was something we didn’t like about the Clintons. So it does not make Trump’s lies OK. That’s not the standard. And even if it was, it’s a bad standard. Remember all that stuff last year about how we couldn’t trust Clinton? Why is that suddenly not a concern with Trump?

    Second, there is a quantum leap between the Clintons and Trump. There is absolutely no relationship between him and the truth. To return to my church example, Clinton’s lie was an attempt to sympathize. Trump would claim he rescued children from burning churches and it was all the fault of Mexican immigrants.

    When the stuff really went down, we could depend on Clinton to be telling us the truth or something in the ballpark of it. We can not believe anything Trump says. And at some point, we are going to need to trust what the White House is saying. And their flagrant, serial continual dishonesty is going to bite us in the butt.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  74. teve tory says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    It’s hard to estimate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  75. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Another point I’d make concerns the incentives that normally place boundaries around a politician’s attempts to mislead. Take one of the most oft-cited examples of a Hillary lie: when she falsely claimed to have been under sniper fire in Bosnia. After she was caught, she apologized and never made the claim again. Whenever Trump is caught in a lie, he doubles down and continues to insist loudly and forcefully to anyone who will hear that his version is accurate and that anyone who says differently is promoting “fake news.”

    This is because one of the major things he lacks that most politicians have is a sense of shame. Shame doesn’t keep all politicians honest, but it does place certain constraints on them. Most of them at least want people to think that they’re reliable enough that their version of reality can be trusted.

    I could see an argument being made that Trump’s brand of lying is so blatant that it’s actually an improvement over the more subtle forms of deception that have always been a standard feature of politics, because it’s less likely to fool people. But then I see polls like the one I mentioned earlier showing a majority of Republicans believing Trump’s moronically transparent lies about crowd size at the inauguration, and I realize that the more outrageously a politician twists the truth, the more he encourages others to embrace the false reality. People’s level of gullibility isn’t static; it can be nurtured by those willing to exploit it, and whether Trump consciously realizes this or not, he certainly takes advantage of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  76. KM says:

    @Hal_10000:

    But … first, this was *bad* thing. It was something we didn’t like about the Clintons. So it does not make Trump’s lies OK. That’s not the standard. And even if it was, it’s a bad standard. Remember all that stuff last year about how we couldn’t trust Clinton? Why is that suddenly not a concern with Trump?

    5yr logic – Johnny lies about taking cookies at naptime so it’s OK for me steal from mommie’s purse and shove my sister into the mud. What? He did it first!!!

    Kohlberg listed such behavior as Stage 1 Pre-Conventional – a preoccupation with “fairness” and that something is bad in relation to how much punishment is involved. That’s why they keep harping that the Clinton’s “got a pass” from liberals and now it’s their turn. It’s the lowest level of moral reasoning. You got to do X and “got away with it” so now I can do Y, regardless of whether Y is proportional or even related in any way to X. This is a toddler’s reasoning and is very much in line with how Trumpkin’s view the world. They’re fine with Donald’s misbehavior because someone they don’t like did something else they didn’t like first and that’s *bad*.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  77. @Bob@Youngstown:

    How many people did Obamacare force to change their doctor? (for example my brother complained bitterly because his doctor left the network that my brother had been enrolled with – so he blamed Obama).

    a) I am sure some did.

    BUT

    b) I am also sure that many people blame all the ills of the US health care system on Obamacare (even those elements that were, dare I say, pre-existing). To me is it like people who blame all the ills of K-12 on the Common Core.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  78. Mike in DC says:

    @Moosebreath: Trump has vehemently denied that he said this, which is as good as a confirmation in my book.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  79. teve tory says:

    Kinda OT, but today’s Susan Rice news reminded me of this Bob the Dorqbuster idiot:

    Bob The Arqubusier says:

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 18:43
    @al-Alameda: “Yes, it certainly appears that many people in federal intelligence agencies knew that Trump and/or many of his associates had business and possible campaign dealings with Russians.”

    And it appears that they have no problems with breaking the law regarding unmasking identities to get that information out, either.

    Wasn’t it convenient that, just before Trump’s inauguration, Obama relaxed the rules on distributing raw, unredacted intelligence across a whole bunch of people? I’m sure that the consequence of increasing the possible pool of leak suspects from a handful to a couple hundred or more was an unforeseen, unforeseeable consequence.

    (my bolding)

    Here’s today’s news I’m referring to:

    National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has concluded that Rice did nothing wrong, according to two U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to me on condition of anonymity. That might explain why Trump has yet to declassify more information on the prior administration’s unmasking requests.

    (Bloomberg)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  80. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Remember all that stuff last year about how we couldn’t trust Clinton? Why is that suddenly not a concern with Trump?

    You’re asking JKB THAT question? Really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  81. Blue Galangal says:

    @CSK:

    What you say is true. But bear in mind that Trump may be speaking gibberish because he knows that’s what his cultists want to hear. The present Trumpkins are the past Palinistas, and they adored Palin’s babble not just because it made her sound like a “real American” but because they could read into it anything they wished. I suspect the same principal is operating here.

    Trump is truly a Rorschach test of one’s character.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Indeed, when it comes to identifying a “lie” the Obama line about doctors. Indeed, the quote was, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,”–he was wrong for some people. He was not wrong for all people. It is the kind of statement that he should not have made. It was wrong enough for enough people to be a major mistake. I would not classify it as a lie, per se, unless he was willfully stating an untruth that he knew to be false for the purpose of misleading people. Odds are, he thought it was true.

    Remember, too, for the first couple of years of his administration, Obama was – well, I’ll go with “optimistic” at risk of sounding too cynical – that the GOP would grow the fk up and start governing with the Democrats (and to be fair there was a 200 year precedent for that). So that statement, while potentially inaccurate, was assuming that the GOP wouldn’t try to burn down Obamacare just because they could. If the red states had joined in the exchanges, there would have been a lot more financial (and cultural) pressure to participate. As it is, some doctors just flat out lied to their patients and rode around on their anti-Obama wagon and their angry old white patients ate that up. (My parents are two of them.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  82. DrDaveT says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    Indeed, the quote was, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,”–he was wrong for some people. He was not wrong for all people.

    And for many of the people he was wrong for, they were wrong to like their health care plans. Many of them were sham plans, where the benefits were nearly useless but the premiums were low. The President overestimated people’s ability to recognize a plan they should want to keep.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0