Trump Continues His Pattern of Lie, Distract, and Blame

Two months into Trump’s presidency, I wrote that he exhibits behaviors associated with a severe personality disorder.

He fabricates a world in which he is both dominant and successful. When challenged, he diverts with outrageous lies designed to blame a villain and distract us from his failures. He then assumes we’ll all move on to the next fabrication of his dominance and success.

On Monday, we witnessed yet another example of those behavior patterns when the president attempted to walk back one of the incendiary statements he made during his press conference in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin. The script was for him to say that he believes U.S. intelligence services when they report that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Here’s video of what he actually said:

Don’t assume that you have to watch the entire fifteen minutes. I posted it because it reminded me of the time back in September 2016 when Trump finally admitted that Barack Obama was born in the United States. There are some similarities between the two incidents.

Notice on the tape above that Trump doesn’t even begin to talk about yesterday’s press conference until about the four minute mark. Before getting to the topic at hand, everyone had to sit through a recitation of all of his glorious successes on his recent trip abroad. The same thing happened, only much more pronounced, when Trump finally admitted that Obama had been born in the U.S. That time he made everyone sit through 25 minutes of people in the military claiming that he was a great leader.

Trump’s statement about Obama’s place of birth took a whole 38 seconds.

Rather than admit any culpability in exploiting a racist lie, Trump blamed Hillary Clinton (a lie about a lie) and claimed that he actually “finished” the whole thing.

At about the seven minute mark of Trump’s statement yesterday, he says that “unlike previous administrations,” his administration will “repel” any further attempts to interfere in our elections—even though members of his staff say that he refuses to even talk about the subject. He goes on to say that Obama was given the information about Russian interference, but he decided not to do anything about it because they thought Clinton would win the election. That is nothing more than a distraction based on a lie in an attempt to blame Obama.

As I wrote back in March of 2017, “when challenged, he diverts with outrageous lies designed to blame a villain and distract us from his failures.” That is the pattern that we’ve seen over and over again from this president.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.