It’s been a rough week for the Trump administration. And his new tactic is to cast himself as the innocent protagonist in an epic battle between good and evil, alone taking on the latest “witch hunt” orchestrated by a vicious dark army of fake news. As if.
For months, we’ve been following Trump’s record of accuracy in his public statements. There is no way to sugar-coat this simple fact. The President of the United States is a habitual and persistent (dare we say pathological?) liar. And this isn’t just our opinion.
The Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checking site PolitiFact has collected a dossier of 406 Trump statements that have made the news. Below are their ratings for the 387 statements they rated since he launched his campaign (left) and the 58 they rated since he took office:
No matter how you slice up this pie, two out of every three newsworthy things Trump says are lies. And since he took office, one out of every two statements has been a “pants-on-fire” lie, which is PolitiFact’s way of saying “the most ridiculous falsehoods.”
Just to drive home how big of a liar he is, the (confusing) chart below shows that since he launched his campaign, there has never been a single month that he hasn’t been lying at least half the time. The size of each bubble shows how many statements were rated that month (in October 2016, they rated 54 statements) and its height shows how many of those were rated lies (74% for that month).
As we said earlier, this is a habitual and persistent problem that has not changed at all since taking office. By the way, for the naysayers who complain that PolitiFact is only picking on Trump, they rated 597 of President Obama’s statements. Few liberals want to hear this, but 25% of those were ruled false.
So here is the fact-based conclusion: No President in American history, and we say this with great surety, has been more dishonest than Donald J. Trump.
The Witch Hunt
This week, we learned that Trump mishandled classified intelligence and then tried to cover it up. After suddenly firing FBI director James Comey, we learned Trump tried repeatedly to sway Comey to drop investigations into disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (including dinners, hugs, and phone calls). We learned that Trump was notified that Flynn was under investigation both when he took office, and beforehand. Yet he kept Flynn on for 24 days.
And every week we learn that more of his team has had shady dealings with Russia. Did you know his son-in-law met with a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions, a major donor met with a Putin confidant on a remote island and an advisor tried to elicit information from a Russian spy? That all came out in just one week in April.
The facts – not punditry and opinion here, but verifiable facts – are that this is not an administration that follows the “presumption of regularity” on which the powers of the executive branch are based. Another fact: the Constitution clearly states that the government derives its power from the people, ergo, the President works for us. So we, as much as the other branches of government, have both the right and the duty to question the actions and office of the President.
Trump’s response on Thursday? “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” That followed a deleted tweet in which he couldn’t even spell “counsel” correctly (which he should know, since he misspelled it in this deleted tweet just days earlier) proclaiming “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!”
The Emperor’s invisible wardrobe
Trump loves to play the hapless victim. Just Wednesday, while speaking at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s graduation, he took the opportunity to, in the words of Rachel Maddow, whine “Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media,” he whined. “No politician in history and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
Related: Trump Gives A Self-Serving ‘Alternative Fact’ Based Commencement Speech In Connecticut (Video)
This isn’t new. Remember a year ago, when he wouldn’t cut the checks he promised to Veteran’s organizations, Trump complained out loud and on twitter how the press made him look bad. That was right after calling one reporter “a sleaze” and sarcastically labeling another as “a real beauty.”
Trump just loves to cry about the proverbial witch hunt, and not just targeting himself and his team. Given that his staff has to “make sure Trump’s media diet includes regular doses of praise and positive stories to keep his mood up,” it stands to reason that no one dares tell him this is all his own fault.
There are lists upon lists of how he reprojects people’s criticisms of his atrocious behavior onto others. Here are 9 times he slammed others for allegedly mishandling classified intel. 331 people, places, and things he insulted on twitter (and that was just up to last August). By the way, the reason there was no special counsel appointed to investigate Obama or Clinton is that Trump decided not to pursue it. Which reminds us of all the times he has flip-flopped on, or outright denied he ever made statements.
There’s just no way to escape the fact that our President is an emperor with no clothes.
And it isn’t just the media that has been describing him this way (just click here, here, or here for a few examples). Playing the hapless, victimized savior boldly leading a holy crusade against a vicious dark army of fake news purveyors and mortal enemies, he smugly strolls down the lanes of his private golf estates, expecting the world to swoon. Maybe his fans can’t see the naked truth, but the rest of us can.
Sadly, Trump has no idea what a witch hunt really is. Frankly, the real witch hunt is the one he is running against the media. And then there’s his witch hunt for leakers. Oh, and hunts he’s launching against government officials he fired for not declaring absolute loyalty, like Sally Yates and James Comey. Who will it be next week? Stay tuned…
Featured image via Pexels.com