Lying On The Fly
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
Record keepers at the Washington Post have documented that by December 16, 2019 Trump had made 15,413 false or misleading claims. For the 1,055 days of his presidency that came down to 14.61 lies per day. Apparently not satisfied with his performance the president added a considerable number of falsehoods when explaining why Soleimani had been assassinated. First the general had posed an ‘imminent threat’ to US citizens and military, a legal term that would have justified the action but could not be specified by the White House or the Pentagon. Second, Trump claimed that Soleimani was planning to blow up the US embassy in Baghdad. Since one embassy apparently was not enough he added three more to the Iranian’s malicious intentions, but even Defense Secretary Esper could not confirm that information. Then it was because GOP senators had urged Trump to take the action, followed by the news that the decision to go ahead with the assault was made seven months ago, in case one more US citizen would be killed by Iran’s proxies, and at a rally last week the president said it ‘doesn’t matter’ why he gave the order.
With regards to his impeachment trial in the Senate that starts today Trump has been exhibiting similar flexibility. Initially he demanded a trial with witnesses like Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Joe & Hunter Biden and the whistleblower, to expose the ‘impeachment hoax,’ but not Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton and others who could testify about the illegal withholding of military aid from Ukraine. When Bolton threw a wrench in that design by making himself available to testify if subpoenaed the president shifted to a quick trial without any witnesses, but indicated that he would prefer to see the charges summarily dismissed. With new information that has become available this week neither of those things is likely to happen. The Russians started hacking into Burisma’s systems, looking for dirt on the Bidens on Trump’s behalf, with exactly the same electronic ‘signature’ they used in 2016, and one of Rudy Giuliani’s goons, Lev Parnas, handed over a trove of incriminating documents to the House Intelligence Committee and in a TV interview accused Trump of having supervised the Ukraine operation.
According to Parnas Giuliani, introducing himself as the lawyer representing the president as a private citizen, ran a gang of hoodlums in Ukraine pressuring President Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens and possibly keeping Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance. And even after this ploy exploded in his face last September Hizzoner was still trying to get on Trump’s defense team for the Senate trial. When asked about it one of the president’s real lawyers indicated that they wouldn’t let Giuliani argue a traffic ticket.
Conscious of his record, even in these trying times Trump succeeded in adding some more lies to his collection, for instance by claiming that Saudi Arabia paid $1 billion for the troops he sent to that country, something the Pentagon immediately denied because it hates to see US troops reduced to mercenaries. The president’s reporting on the new China deal exaggerates the benefits to the US, and to visualize his lying he tweeted a picture of Pelosi and Schumer in Muslim garb.
One pundit observed that Trump wants to be the bride at every wedding and the corps at every funeral, but the one place where he doesn’t want to be is at the center of a Senate trial. In spite of his litigious past the president has never gone to trial but always settled his lawsuits, and in this case that is not an option. It now depends on the senators how painful this new experience will be for him.
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