He couldn’t be that stupid, could he?
President Donald Trump is a man who has been known to interrupt one of his own lies with another lie. His relationship with the truth is so convoluted that at times the president seems unable to keep up with his own falsehoods. Indeed, according to the fact-checking site, Politico, President Donald Trump only manages, to tell the truth around five percent of the time.
That’s one of those statistics that takes a while to sink in.
The idea that ninety-five percent of what comes out of the president’s mouth cannot be trusted suggests a proactive attempt to deceive. This is gold medal Olympic deception, the kind of Oscar-winning performance you can only get by stealing another movie’s script. Donald Trump’s pants aren’t so much on fire, as they are made of fire. Each morning he must wade waist deep into a tub of paraffin wax and take a lighter to his shins before stepping out to face the crowds.
And he wants to testify under oath?
During a Q&A session on Friday, the president indicated that he was willing to do just that. His version of the conversations he had with James Comey who had testified before the Senate the day before is it would seem, quite different. And his commitment to proving that couldn’t be more robust. When asked if he was truly prepared to go through with testifying he answered simply:
“One hundred percent.”
He also took the time to address questions relating to a tweet he had sent out last month.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Asked directly whether or not he had been hinting at the existence of Oval Office secret recordings he said:
“I am not hinting at anything. I will tell you about it over a very short period of time,” adding later that reporters were going to be very “disappointed,” when they heard the answer.
Regardless of whether or not such tapes exist, Trump openly accused Comey of having committed perjury during the Senate hearing. When asked about the former FBI director’s claim that the President asked him to end the investigation into Michael Flynn Trump answered simply that:
“I didn’t say that.”
Not that this was the first time he accused Comey of committing a felony.
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
As is so often the case with Donald Trump it’s hard to know how seriously we should take him.
The knee-jerk, go for the jugular raising of the stakes is typical alpha male bravado of course. Comey testified before the Senate so Trump has to testify before the Senate. It’s predictable if tedious response.
But such instincts are dangerous.
Facing cross-examination from experienced political operators — including some that he has personally insulted many times over — might prove his undoing. Lacking the self-restraint to parse his words and pathologically incapable of candor he risks perjuring himself with every uttered word.
And Perjury is bad. It is the kind of thing that can fell a President.
Even the optics wouldn’t look good. A sitting President, engaging in a schoolyard he said/she said pissing contest with one of the nation’s top law officials? That’s the kind of scene that gets edited out of movies for being too far-fetched. That kind of thing isn’t even included as a Blu-ray extra.
Of course, it could all be a bluff, a distraction. Within the next few days, Trump might disavow notions that he should speak under oath.
He might deny he ever said he would do so.
All of which would leave us with something of a learning experience. That we should be careful before we read too much into such statements. Trump knows how to generate headlines.
And for his unsubtle mind, stating a willingness to speak under oath is as good as actually doing so.
Watch the whole exchange here.
Featured image from YouTube video.