There are times when you can learn something from what a person like Trump choses to lie about. Yesterday morning he tweeted this:
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
Then later at his press conference, the president elect said this:
So I tweeted out that I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia.
As a real estate developer, I have very, very little debt. I have assets that are — and now people have found out how big the company is, I have very little debt — I have very low debt. But I have no loans with Russia at all.
And I thought that was important to put out. I certified that. So I have no deals, I have no loans and I have no dealings. We could make deals in Russia very easily if we wanted to, I just don’t want to because I think that would be a conflict. So I have no loans, no dealings, and no current pending deals.
Did he repeat it enough to make you believe him? Or, like me, do you remember when the Washington Post reported on what Donald Trump, Jr. said back in 2008 at a real estate conference?
“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Donald Trump Jr. added, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Beyond that, Michael Kranish does a good job of summarizing what we actually know about Trump’s business dealings with Russia – which isn’t much since he won’t release his taxes.
So why would Trump repeat – over and over again – such an obvious lie? The truth is that he is the most banal kind of liar. Remember back during the Republican primaries when he went from saying that Vladimir Putin was his BFF to saying that he’d never met him? Trump says whatever he needs to say, repetitively, to get out of a jam.
In this case, the president-elect told a blatant lie to try to obfuscate the information contained in the dossier suggesting that his campaign coordinated their efforts with the Russians. That might not pass as proof for all that is written in those reports, but it’s a pretty good indicator that there is some truth in them.