You lie, I’ll swear to it.
That seems to be an operating standard in the Trump White House.
Kellyanne Conway created the term “alternative facts” to explain the president’s lies; Trump himself gave us “fake news” to describe facts he dislikes, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has lost all credibility with reporters thanks to her combative and evasive approach to the media.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), in an unprecedented and historic Senate speech this week, accused Trump of Stalinesque behavior when he declared the free media “the enemy of the people.” It is a term so “fraught with malice” that Nikita Khrushchev banned its use after the death of the brutal Soviet dictator.
Flake called Trump’s “unprecedented” and “unwarranted” assault on “the constitutionally-protected free press” an affront to American democracy.
White House aides are under daily pressure to validate the president’s lies and tweets. Most notorious incidents include Trump’s birtherism campaign, exaggerated Inaugural crowd sizes, bugging of Trump Tower, claims the tax bill will “cost me a fortune,” denials that he had asked FBI Director James Comey to drop the Flynn investigation and candidate Trump’s promise to release his tax returns.
The tally surpassed 2,000 before the end of Trump’s first year. A new poll, reported in The Hill, showed 80 percent of Americans believe Trump talks “without taking much time to consider his words.”
Republican Senators David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas did enormous damage to their own credibility when they insisted President Trump never referred to Haiti and African countries as “shitholes” or “shithouses.” At first they couldn’t remember hearing him say it and then, after the president’s denial, insisted he hadn’t said it. Trouble is, he did say it and they lied.
Only two senators had the courage to tell the truth, Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) confirmed the president’s use of the s-word and no one else denied it; some just pleaded suspiciously convenient memory lapses,
Trump has already squandered millions of tax dollars so far in a failed attempt to validate one of his most outrageious lies, one that threatens to undermine American democracy and disenfranchise millions of American voters.
With a voracious ego matched only by his lack of integrity, he continues to perpetuate the lie that he lost the popular vote by 3-5 million votes due to illegal immigrants casting at least that many or more fraudulent ballots for his opponents. In the 14 months since the election he has been unable to produce a single shred of evidence to substantiate his lie. Because there is none.
This month he suddenly abolished the misnamed Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity he set up to validate his bogus charges of election fraud and turned its functions and files over to the Department of Homeland Security, a move that should worry millions of new citizens.
Turning from the inept, secretive commission that one White House aide told CNN had become “a shit show” that went “off the rails,” Trump may now try to bury his lies deeper in the more secretive DHS by portraying the issue as a matter of national security or even foreign – non-Russian, of course — sabotage. This is sure to raise fears among new citizens that immigration agents will search voter rolls suspected illegals.
The driving force behind the commission was its vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach, a xenophobic, immigrant-bashing Republican obsessed with imaginary visions of voter fraud. The chair was the equally anti-immigrant Mike Pence, Trump’s sycophantic vice president.
The group was so secretive that a Democratic member had to go to court to find out when its meetings were being held and what it was doing.
Kobach’s mission, like Trump’s, was “making it harder for minorities, students, the poor and anyone else possibly sympathetic toward Democrats to vote,” said Maine secretary of state Matthew Dunlap, the Democratic commissioner. When a federal judge ordered Kobach to open records and meetings to all members, the vice chair responded by accusing Democrats of being “not interested” in stopping voter fraud, and Trump closed it down.
Trump’s voter fraud campaign is at the heart of the GOP strategy for future elections. Anti-immigration is a mainstay of his base appeal, but it is only a part of his and the GOP’s massive voter suppression campaign.
Trump’s immigration policy can be summed up with a paraphrase of his campaign motto: Make America White Again.