Wow, what a month that week was!
After James Comey’s rather calm testimony, we were treated to nary a tweet from Trump. Maybe he’s growing up a bit, or at least growing into his role as the person who resides in the White House.
Nope, just kidding. It was less than 24 hours before Trump took to twitter on Friday morning to claim that somehow, the assertion that he lies repeatedly, and that he attempted to direct the former head of the FBI to cease an investigation somehow exonerated him. Maybe he was bracing for far worse. That would, to some degree make some sense. If I thought a person was going to flat out accuse me, under oath, of obstruction of justice, but that person said it was for somebody else to decide, then, yeah, maybe I would take that as a vindication.
Nonetheless, the testimony happened. By the end of the day Friday, Trump stated that he would be “100% willing” to go under oath himself to refute those claims. With that in mind, we should look at the other times that Mr. Trump has declared himself to go on the record. We can begin with any number of lies that he has spoken in public, and then claimed that he would set straight (and backed out on) by going to the most recent that isn’t related to this: Obama’s birth certificate.
Trump spent years claiming that he had secret investigators who were close to uncovering the truth. Of course, this was false. Not only was Obama born in Hawaii, but Trump never had any investigators. He had the same type of sources he likes to rail against now, unnamed. The difference is, of course, that for Trump, his unnamed sources were all in his head, and the current ones are all in the White House. When it became clear that he could no longer go on fueling this falsehood, he held a press conference that turned out to be a live infomercial for his new hotel. He then told reporters, “Barack Obama was born in America. Period,” and left. No further questions.
Trump has also lied about other demonstrably untrue things since taking office. The size of his inauguration crowd, for instance. Or the assertion that he actually won the popular vote, so long as you don’t count all the people that didn’t vote for him. Or the Carrier deal. Or the meeting with the Romanian president and what they talked about. Or, any number of things, just in the last 9 months.
Trump, of course, has a reputation as a liar. None of the top lawyers in D.C. will represent him as the growing case against him builds. Not because they think he will lose, but because they don’t think he will listen to their advice, that he won’t pay them, and he will continue to make false statements to other people, thus making their case harder. Simply put, the government’s own lawyers won’t represent the head of the government because they don’t think he is trustworthy with even the most basic rules of being a defendant: Shut up, and don’t lie; also, pay me.
Another reason that Trump faces a credibility problem here is because the few times that he has given sworn statements in the past, they directly contradict the public statements that he made. In 2007, for instance, he was deposed and he admitted that a number of things that he said publicly were false. He had to; he was under oath. And there’s no way that he would last a day in jail. But, less interesting than that he is a known liar, is the fact that what he lied about is, again, demonstrably false. Sometimes, he passed the buck. But, more often than not, he feigned ignorance, or tried to argue that words mean something different in his mind than what they do to everyone else.
You can read about that deposition here.
And this is nothing to say of the lies that he said during his campaign, or even since taking office. Simply put, if Trump goes under oath, which I highly doubt he will, one of these two people will be lying. One of them has a history of telling the truth, no matter how inconvenient; the other is Donald Trump.
Moving on from that, we have the recent twitter incidents from both Trump, where he passed out typing on his phone, leaving “covfefe” behind as if it was waiting to be the “Rosebud” of this generation, and the one from Huckabee-Sanders, where she tweeted a series of emojis and numbers.
On the one hand, I don’t care if Trump fell asleep tweeting. In my youth, I fell asleep texting a girl I was talking to. Of course, I was 16 and not the president. And the girl was not the United States. Nowadays, in my thirties, I don’t even remember her name, which is probably about as much as Trump will care about the U.S next week.
But covfefe aside, there is the troubling matter of the fact that so many people in government have their personal phones, unsecured and yet hooked up to official business, and within reach outside of government. Huckabee-Sanders blamed her now infamous “stoplight^3” tweet on her 3 year old child, and Trump just claimed that it was a secret code to a few select individuals.
Let’s assume that both of these explanations are the truth. In the case of Trump, he is tweeting secret codes for the entire world to see. Hardly secure. In the case of Huckabee-Sanders, her 3 year old child knows her passcode and was able to get past it, and then send a public message. This is hardly the security I would expect from a group of people who were upset that their opponent had an email server that was so secret that no one could hack into it, which is how we know that we actually don’t know what was on it.
Of course, none of this is to say anything about what else happened this week.
The worst part is, none of those things were able to garner news attention, despite being worthy of it, because the entire administration, from the campaign phase going forward, is under federal investigation for a number of potential crimes; all of which were dismissed by Paul Ryan because he thinks that Trump is too dumb to know that he might have committed a crime.
Well, if he’s too simple to know that he might’ve committed an impeachable offense, than I contend that he’s too simple to be in the office to begin with.