(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
Towards the end of 2017 we can start making up the balance of Trump’s first year in office. We already know that the current US President lies on average five times per day, or once every four hours, and that is undoubtedly more than any president before him. It is the only real record he holds, but not surprisingly the only one he doesn’t take credit for. The records he lies about are made up. Trump claims that he signed more bills in his first year in office than even Harry Truman, the record holder, while in reality he signed fewer bills than Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He also falsely claims that the economy has expanded more, that more jobs have been created, and that the stock market has risen faster than under Obama, while in fact since Trump became president the economy, job creation and Dow Jones have grown somewhat slower than in the final months of Obama’s presidency. Trump started his presidency with the lie that he had the largest inauguration crowd ever, something that could easily be falsified, immediately followed by the lie that 3.5 million illegal immigrants had voted for Hillary Clinton.
Some of Trump’s lies are silly. Before his inauguration he blamed Obama for having played too much golf and declared that he would have no time for that because the presidency would demand all his attention, but to date Trump has played golf 89 times, compared to Obama’s 26 times in the same period of his presidency. He also said in an interview that as president he would go on Twitter only sporadically and show a lot of restraint in his tweets, and we know how that worked out. Twitter is in fact the main tool with which Trump disseminates his lies, and occasionally he produces a tweet that is so absurd that you cannot even call it lying, like when he called the Pope ‘a modest man,’ and added ‘just like myself, maybe that’s why I like him so much.’ Trump got deeply in trouble when he accidentally tweeted the truth, namely that he knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI when he fired him, and his lawyer had to fall on the sword with a statement that he, not Trump, had written that tweet. That, of course, was another lie, and it is a perfect example of how Trump makes everybody around him lie to protect the president.
With so much choice it is not easy to determine what has been Trump’s biggest lie so far, but I chose his statements about the tax bill that was recently passed by congress, because they are his most consequential lies so far. Trump declared that the bill would be ‘not so good’ for him but that ‘that didn’t matter,’ and that his wealthy friends were very unhappy with him, while at Mar-a-Lago for the holidays he told those friends that he had just ‘made them a lot of money.’
And when Trump isn’t lying he is bragging. In a spontaneous interview with a New York Times reporter this week, clearly buoyed by the passing of the tax bill, he said that he understands tax legislation better than the best CPA, and that he understands health care better than almost anyone. It shows how even minor achievements can trigger major insanity in a narcissist.
In the same interview Trump said that he could make the Department of Justice do anything he wants, but that he expected Robert Mueller to treat him fairly and therefore would not interfere with his investigation. I predict that next year we’ll find out that that was another lie, hopefully the last one.