Trump’s Old Lies Never Really Die

A consistent theme of the Trump presidency is that whenever he feels challenged or threatened, he strikes out to lie, distract and blame. We saw that today not only with his planned strategy to discredit the Steele dossier and attack the FBI. He also reached back to resurrect a lie he told during the campaign.

Due to a recent rehash of this story at The Hill, which claims that the FBI was investigating Russian nuclear energy officials in 2010 for paying bribes, Trump got a two-fer out of that one. He not only repeated his previous claims about Clinton and the uranium deal, he tied it back to Obama.

Here is the truth, though. The so-called “fake media” actually covered that one—quite extensively. It goes to the heart of how Steve Bannon weaponizes a story. Prior to publication of his co-worker’s book, Clinton Cash, Bannon gave an advance copy to the New York Times, which published an article with the breathless title, “Cash Flowed to the Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal.” That was later spun into a few weeks of controversy during the campaign where the media became obsessed with “questions” about contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

The story about the Russian uranium deal eventually garnered a lot of media attention from some folks this president isn’t very fond of: fact checkers. In case you missed all of that, you can take your pick of which debunking you prefer: PoliticFact, the Washington Post, or Snopes.

The revival of this old story tells us that, when it comes to Trump, none of his old lies are ever really dead. Here are a few of the ones that are waiting in the wings the next time he feels the need to lie, distract and blame:

  • Benghazi!
  • Barack Obama was born in Kenya
  • Hillary Clinton started the whole birther controversy
  • My inaugural crowds were the biggest in history
  • Three to four million people voted illegally in 2016
  • Obama wiretapped me

You think I’m kidding? If reporters start questioning Trump about what happened to those four soldiers in Niger, I’d put some major money on a bet that he shoots back with something about Benghazi.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.