The Art of Lying

This week Steve Schmidt compared Trump with a little boy who has cupcake all over his face but tells his parents he hasn’t touched the pastry.  The lies coming out of the Trump camp, some told before this week but now uncovered, followed one another almost too fast to be debunked.  Telephone conversations Trump claimed to have had with the leader of the Boy Scouts and the Mexican president never took place.  Instead of knowing nothing about the ‘adoption memo’ from his son Don Jr. it turns out that Trump wrote it.  Almost two weeks after the meeting of Don Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner with representatives of the Kremlin was revealed, Trump declared that nobody in his campaign saw any Russians, conveniently also forgetting Flynn’s and Session’s meetings with the Russian ambassador. And in spite of hefty denials by the White House there were strong indications that Trump had pushed Fox News to go public with the falsehood that Seth Rich, a tragically murdered DNC employee, had provided files to Wikileaks, which would absolve the Russian hackers.

Although Rich could not defend himself anymore Fox News had to apologize for the story, but Trump never apologized for and preferred to deny calling the White House ‘a dump,’ in spite of the testimony of multiple members of his Bedminster, NJ golf club.  It was a reminder of his sexist remarks about Carly Fiorina’s face during the campaign, which he later retracted by calling her beautiful, as he did with the White House now.  However, Trump never denied having encouraged law enforcement agents to treat suspects with less care, which resulted in a letter from the Head of the DEA urging his people to ignore the president, and his administration succeeded in starting one bizarre investigation and presenting one solution in search of a problem.  The investigation into whether white applicants are being discriminated against by US universities prompted Bill Maher to joke that when he walks around at Harvard or Yale he always wonders where the white students are, and new rules for legal immigration would have disturbing effects on the US economy.

Fortunately those rules, presented by Roy Cohn look-alike Stephen Miller, don’t stand a chance passing Congress, and it appears that Republicans are slowly manning up against Trump, by passing sanctions against Russia with a veto-proof majority and legislation that makes it almost impossible for the president to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who has assembled an all-star team of financial crime specialists and prosecutors that must keep Trump awake at night.

In the White House four-star Marine General John Kelly established some order by firing foulmouth Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci on his first day on the job, but it’s still uncertain if he’ll be able to discipline Kushner and Steve Bannon, let alone the president himself.  Ivanka Trump’s message that she’ll work ‘alongside’ but not for Kelly is a bad omen.

Yesterday Trump left the White House for a vacation at his New Jersey golf course that will bring his number of vacation days to three times Obama’s number during his first six months in office.  Ironically the only major legislation Trump signed so far imposes new sanctions on Russia.

Hugo Kijne

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