I was trying to catch some news on TV. There was President Trump. He was saying something. It was remarkable. Truly remarkable:
President Donald Trump on Thursday again denied that he or his campaign colluded with the Russian government’s suspected attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
“Believe me, there’s no collusion,” Trump told reporters in the White House. “Russia is fine, but whether it’s Russia or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America.”
What? What? Donald Trump said, “Believe me?” He did. He really did. But in fact, he has said this before. Lots of times. He has said some other things, besides:
- The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive. [Twitter 1:15 AM – 6 Nov 2012]
- I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. [Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference]
- Remember, I used to give you a news conference every time I made a speech, which was like every day. OK?
- That’s the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports.
- The claim about labour secretary nominee Alex Acosta: “He’s a member and has been a member of the National Labor Relations Board.”
- And the people mentioned in the story, I notice they were on television today saying they never even spoke to Russia.
- The fake-news media doesn’t like talking about the economy; I never see anything about the stock market sets new records every day. I never see it.
And I’m not going to bore you with the remaining litany of Donald Trump’s falsifications since his inauguration. Daniel Dales’ list in the Toronto Star has grown since I quit at number 80 on 8 May:
Donald Trump has now said 250 false things as president. Here are all of them
The Star’s running tally of the straight-up lies, exaggerations and deceptions the president of the United States of America has said, so far.
So much for, “Believe me.”
In addition to what President Trump says, of significance is where and when he says it. For example, yesterday he held a joint news conference with Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, using the opportunity to assuage his bruised feelings:
“There was no collusion and everybody – even my enemies – have said, ‘there was no collusion,'” Trump says.
“We don’t have health care. Obamacare is a fallacy. It’s gone,” Trump says.
“Director Comey was very unpopular with most people,” Trump says.
“No. Next question,” Trump says when asked if he pressed former FBI director James Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn.
Trump: Believe me, there’s no collusion.
Trump: We’ve made tremendous progress in the last 100 days.
“The entire thing has been a witch hunt. I think it divides the country,” Trump says of the appointment of a special counsel to head the Russia investigation.
Were I President Santos about then, I would be nervously fidgeting and glancing over at the man standing next to me and mouthing these words. “Is this person really the President of the United States, and does he have anything more of substance to say right now?”