Ending 2017 the Same Way it Started

As soon as everyone recovered from their New Years parties last year, we were treated to the inauguration of Donald Trump. I’ll always remember two things from his first days in office:

  1. The awakening of the resistance with Women’s Marches all over the country, and
  2. The administration’s lies about the size of the inaugural crowd.

In many ways, 2017 is ending exactly as it began when it comes to the Trump presidency. The resistance went from marching in the streets to organizing on everything from stopping the repeal of Obamacare to winning local and state elections.

When it comes to the president, he is still telling lies in service of his delusional narcissism. Let’s take a look at a few of the whoppers he told during his interview yesterday with Michael Schmidt. For example, here’s what he said when asked whether the Mueller investigation bothers him:

No, it doesn’t bother me because I hope that he’s going to be fair. I think that he’s going to be fair. And based on that [inaudible]. There’s been no collusion. But I think he’s going to be fair. And if he’s fair — because everybody knows the answer already, Michael.

The “it doesn’t bother me” is the least of the lies told in that response. The whopper is that, after stating that “there’s been no collusion,” he says that “everybody knows the answer already.” That lie is repeated a couple of times to set up the threat he issues later.

I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.

It’s a lie for him to say that he’s stayed uninvolved with this matter, as demonstrated by his publicly stated reason for firing James Comey. But the fact that he’s set up the scenario that fairness means exoneration and followed that up with a claim to be able to do whatever he wants with the Justice Department means that he’s just made a pretty bold statement about what he intends to do if he is not exonerated.

As is often the case with Trump, he feels the need to lie about Obama as a way to justify his own actions.

I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him. When you look at the I.R.S. scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems they had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems. When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president.

At least one former U.S. Attorney felt the need to respond directly to that lie.

The last lie I’ll point to is of a variety that we’ve become pretty accustomed to: this president’s need to constantly paint himself as the “greatest in history.”

I know more about the big bills. … [Inaudible.] … Than any president that’s ever been in office. Whether it’s health care and taxes. Especially taxes.

That is absurd. This president has demonstrated his ignorance—especially on health care—from the moment he started his campaign up until the present.

When I first read all of these lies (I didn’t even cover all of them in that interview), my first thought was to move on because there is no news in the fact that Donald Trump lies. But my second thought was that my reaction is how we normalize the fact that that we have a POTUS who is completely delusional and almost never tells the truth. There are a lot of ways that continues to be a danger to this country, not the least of which is captured by this quote from Hannah Arendt:

Donald Trump started his presidency by blurring the lines between true and false. He continues to do so. That might be the biggest story of 2017, and will be for as long as he resides in the White House.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.