A Policy of Lies
Nearly everyday, but especially on the weekends, I have noticed the Twitter feed of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is filled with bits of information meant to place President Trump in a flattering light.
If you believe her Tweets you would conclude that simply by showing up for work last January 20th, the president has defeated ISIS, put America’s enemies in their place, erased trade imbalances, caused the stock market to soar, unemployment to go down and renewed the spirit of the American people even though polls show most of the American people have had about enough of him. Sanders makes constant comparisons between Trump and the failures of Barack Obama. The Obama presidency was a mistake from beginning to end and President Trump is cleaning up as Sarah sees it.
Few people outside the Trump White House believe this view of the world, but that is the marketing message they are trying to feed us. They do so without shame and with no regard for the truth. That’s why they fail to convert even when the truth is on their side.
There is no doubt that gains have been made on the battlefield and in the economy since the last election, but there is no evidence President Trump has anything to do with any of the progress because for the last year the petty and the personal have consumed his time.
There is an inescapable problem for the Trump White House when it comes to taking credit for good news and that is the lying that pervades every level of the administration. The policy of resorting to lies to deflect any challenge has so eroded the credibility of the entire organization that no member of the administration can believably make the public assertion that the sky is blue.
A report this week from the New York Times revealed that last June, President Trump argued forcefully for, and in fact ordered, the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller who is conducting an investigation into the Trump campaign, its contacts with the Russian government, and the Trump administration.
This news comes following repeated denials from the president, Sanders, and several other top administration spokespeople. Trump and his spokesmen have specifically denied that the president was considering, or would consider, firing Mueller. In one television interview Sanders said in exasperation, “like we’ve told you guys a thousand times” the president is not considering firing “Bob Mueller.” The folksy “you guys” and the reference to “Bob” is supposed to make the lie sound more believable.
These false claims were made with full knowledge that the president had not only thought about firing Bob, but demanded it be done. The question of Mueller’s status has been raised almost weekly throughout the course of the investigation and it has taken up hundreds of hours of discussion on the television news shows the president wallows in. In the face of the new and overwhelming evidence published by the Times the default response has been to keep lying.
The president labels the Times report “fake news.” This is probably very easy for a man who does not value the truth. What Trump does not understand is that what the New York Times is selling is credibility. Its product is reliable information. The press does not print news it knows to be false, because to do so would be to destroy its one and only product: The truth.
The Trump presidency is saturated in deception. The president does not even try to hide it. He smiles when he lies. As a result, his words have no value at home or overseas. In one year he has stripped his presidency of credibility and forced many of his appointees to ruin their professional reputations protecting him with lies of their own. Why they continue to do it is inexplicable.
Some time last year I described Donald Trump as an impostor in the Oval Office. I believe that description is still apt today. In my view he has forfeited his right to speak on behalf of this country as president of the United States, because he has no relationship with the truth. When he stands behind the presidential seal he makes a mockery of the office. The lies about Mueller by Trump and his team reveal a deep level of dysfunction and incompetence. The president has no respect for law or tradition. The staff believes its duty is to be loyal to the man not the country.
Donald Trump deserves to be in the White House based on his Electoral College victory, but he has done everything in his power to sabotage himself. He never thought he would win the election and now he is asking to be fired by debasing the office.