If Trump tweeted “North Korea readying NUKE attack on US!!!”, would you believe him? Would you start gathering canned goods and assembling the family in your basement fallout shelter?
Me neither. And that’s a problem.
Trump’s defensive outbursts bear little relation to the truth. Some are created to build himself up by tearing others down. Others seek to deflect blame by posing ridiculous “What about…?” questions. Many are incoherent. And ALL of them advance his own personal agenda, even when there’s a price to be paid by the country.
So when Trump tweets something, my first reaction — after pulling out a few more of my last remaining hairs — is to assume it’s false. I then ask myself, “What’s in this for him?” And it’s only after I’ve found his angle that I feel I truly understand his message.
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
Over this past weekend Trump has been tweeting like a lunatic. Seriously: it’s unhinged, even by his standards. And the reason is obvious: between the Mueller indictments, the Porter debacle, Gates flipping, another affair, another cover-up of an affair, the security clearance disaster, etc. etc. etc., he’s feeling more pressure than at any other time in his presidency. So he’s lashing out in fury, trying desperately to deflect attention from his many failings.
It’s not working. And when a Trump Trick fails, he doubles down. So if later today he tweets that war is iminent, I’d throw it in the Bag of BS along with the claims that Hillary colluded with the Russians and Obama “tapped” his phone.
Until fairly recently, I would have waited for “the grown-ups” in the White House to give me the real story. But Kelly has proven to be Trump’s lyin’ racism in miniature. Tillerson probably doesn’t know what’s really going on. McMaster seems willing to do his master’s bidding. And the rest of the White House is a shambles.
As shown by the response to the Porter scandal. The story changed half-a-dozen times within 48 hours, as Sarah “Huckster” Sanders tried out new angles, only to abandon each one without comment once it was demonstrated the lies didn’t align.
That leaves Mattis. If Mad Dog said the North Koreans are coming, I’d duck and dive and say my prayers.
Think about that: there are a couple of million people in the Trump government, and there’s only one guy I trust to tell the truth.
Two if you count Bob Mueller.
Three if you add Rod Rosenstein.
And none of those options are useful if the problem is, say, an ebola outbreak or a financial crisis.
That’s how much damage Trump has done to the presidency. His non-stop lies have made it impossible for him to lead, even if he had the skill and desire to do so.
And that, not the Russians, is the single biggest threat to our national security.🔷
(This piece was first published on Medium.)