Trump lies like the animal that died on his head

donald-trump-computer
Trump Googling “How to destroy secret tapes.”

Like nearly 9 million other viewers, I saw James Comey’s public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday morning. It was what I expected it would be, following Comey’s pre-released opening statements, but also included some surprises, like the fact that Comey asked a friend to release contents of memo Comey wrote detailing an interaction with Donald Trump with the hope that it would initiate a special counsel. That, I thought, was very smart and really showed Comey’s savvy.

I disagreed with Comey’s fight with Apple last year regarding the San Bernardino iPhone thing, and I thought Comey’s actions regarding the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 election year was puzzling, but I never doubted Comey’s integrity. Nor did I doubt Comey’s political neutrality, regarding either Clinton or Trump. All in all, I think he’s a good guy who is often placed in extremely difficult positions. I think many probably think this way of Comey.

Amazingly, Trump was silent on Twitter yesterday. I don’t know how he or his aides managed that, but he was true to form today, saying stupid stuff live and on Twitter. Following Comey’s testimony, Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc E. Kasowitz (who, by the way, has clients with Kremlin ties, just sayin’), made the statement that Trump feels “totally vindicated” simply because Comey made the statement that Trump was not under investigation at that time (I’m betting he is now, though), but then basically called Comey a liar on the other stuff. Trump basically said the same today during a during a press conference today with Romania’s President Klaus Werner Iohannis.

In fact, when asked if he would be willing to give his version of events under oath, Mr Trump replied, “100 per cent.” This is interesting because he basically called Comey a liar (in matters that were derogatory to Trump); that is, he accused Comey of breaking the law, lying under oath. He said, “I didn’t say that,” regarding Comey’s statement that Trump asked for personal loyalty. So who is the liar, Comey or Trump? Who are you going to believe? In matters of integrity there is no contest. On the one hand, we have a well-respected former AG and former FBI Director. On the other we have…Trump. Check out his Four-Pinocchio ratings, in one place. Trump wasn’t under oath during the press conference; he can say whatever he wants. No one has any reason to believe him. Trump volunteering to speak under oath is just silly. He will sooner or later, like it or not. And chances are, if history is any indication, he won’t be very good at it.

Of course, a lot of this “he said/he said” could be resolved if “tapes” between Trump and Comey actually do exist. If you recall, Trump (in)famously Tweet-threatened Comey with the existence of “tapes.” Comey said in his testimony, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.” Kind of makes Comey far more believable than Trump, if you ask me. The White House hasn’t been answering questions on whether or not tapes exist, and when asked about the existence of recordings at the press conference Trump said that he would reveal if there are any tapes “over a fairly short period of time,” and added, “Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.” Huh. So we’ll find out soon, like when Trump promised a revelation regarding Russian hacking and it never came? Or when he said he’d release his tax returns after his audit is complete, but then says “maybe” he’ll release them after he leaves office? Like that?

Anyway, how long does it take to simply answer the question, “Do recordings exist?” Does the White House not know? Of course they know. They either do or do not exist, and I’d bet, considering Trump’s practices in the past, that they do exist, and their reluctance to produce them is because they place Trump at a disadvantage. Maybe they’re just trying to decide whose fireplace to burn them in.

This is happening, folks. The Trump administration is past the point of no return. I don’t have a clue how it will all turn out, but I don’t think it’s going to be pretty for Trump. Whether or not the GOP has the balls to impeach one of their own is another matter to consider, but if they continue to support this train wreck then it makes them look pretty sad as well. Of course, as Philip Bump at the Washington Post points out, Trump may be telling the truth. I mean, it’s possible, right? But how likely is that? Trump lies. It’s what he does. But he won’t be able to hide behind them for long.

Advertisements

Grasping at straws: Trump’s political strategy

In an interview with the New York Times yesterday, there was this exchange between Trump, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush of the Times regarding former National Security Advisor under Obama Susan Rice:

HABERMAN: Sir, if you could give us more information about Rice. If the administration would give us more information —

TRUMP: No, you have a lot of information. No, you have so much information.

HABERMAN: If you would have given it to us last week, we would have written it. Would you declassify some of the information so that —

TRUMP: I don’t want to talk about that.

HABERMAN: No? O.K.

TRUMP: No. I just don’t want to talk about that. It’s such an important story for our country, for the world. What took place.

HABERMAN: Why not talk about it then? With all due respect.

TRUMP: At the right time, I will be.

THRUSH: One last thing on that. Have you actually seen intelligence that leads you to believe that people other than Susan Rice are involved.

TRUMP: I don’t want to comment on anything about — other than to say I think it’s a — I think it’s truly one of the big stories of our time.

THRUSH: Do you think she might have committed a crime?

TRUMP: Do I think?

THRUSH: Yeah.

TRUMP: Yes, I think.

Does that sound familiar?

Harken back to last December when Trump said this about Russian hacking:

Well, I just want them to be sure because it’s a pretty serious charge, and I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know. And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.

When a reporter asked, “What do you know that other people don’t know?” Trump responded, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Well, that big news to come on “Tuesday or Wednesday” never came, and I’m guessing that “the right time” for Trump to talk about “such an important story for our country” [the accusations against Susan Rice] will never come either. Why? Because it’s all bullshit.

Trump is talking out of his ass; just making it up as he goes along. And his supporters scramble to put a spin on his bullshit in an effort to make him seem at least a little bit grounded in reality. Trump has based his election on empty promises. This might be somewhat of a good thing in some respects, since Trump has promised some scary things. But an election is one thing. A presidency based on lies and empty promises is bound to fail.

Trump acknowledges possibility of Russian involvement in hacks…sort of; takes time out of busy schedule to tell Schwarzenegger he sucks

Finally, Trump sort of acknowledges that it was possible that the Russians hacked the DNC…but it could also have been “China, other countries, outside groups,” Trump said in a  statement following a brief by top US intelligence officials. So, not really an acknowledgement. Of course, he was quick to assert that “…there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election…” That I’m inclined to believe. Why? We already knew Trump was a shit human being. We’ve known that for a long time, yet we still fucking elected him. Sad! Trump was also quick to point out that he has “tremendous respect” for our intelligence community. Doesn’t quite ring sincere to me, though.

There does seem to be some debate about whether it was actually the Russian government that carried out the hacks, as some have pointed out that the report given to the public is inconclusive (see  here and here). I understand the need for the US intelligence community to protect sources and methods, but maybe a little more transparency on this issue is called for to really settle the issue in the public eye. I think it is entirely plausible, however, that the hacks were the doing of the Russian state, either directly or indirectly. Seems about time that Trump acknowledges that computer security is, you know, kinda important.

Of course, Trump can’t be distracted from truly important matters, like taking the time to disparage the performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger on the new season of The Celebrity Apprentice, of which Trump is still listed as executive producer. He tweets:

Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for…
being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.

Here’s a screenshot:

screenshot-from-2017-01-07-000703

Classy. It’s nice to know that the PEOTUS has his priorities straight.