Donald Trump lies more often without consequence than anyone to ever grace his position. Being a frequent liar, however, doesn’t make him a good one.
Let’s see. Trump said dozens of times on the campaign trail that his campaign team had no interaction with the Russians.
In fact, at least 12 Trump associates had contacts with Russians during the campaign and transition. CNN reports 19 face-to-face meetings with Kremlin-linked individuals and 51 assorted communications.
To what degree you might give this man the benefit of the doubt, 51 is considerably more than none.
Trump has said he never met George Papadopoulos, indicted for lying to the FBI about interacting with the Russians. That’s not even a good lie, per a widely circulated photo.
And Papadopoulos, who first spilled the beans to an Aussie diplomat about Russian-stolen “dirt” on Hillary, was far more than the “coffee boy” Team Trump claims.
He helped write Trump’s first foreign policy speech. He served as point person for a presidential meeting with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
“No collusion”? Papadopoulos knows. And he is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.
This takes us back to Trump, the great liar who isn’t very good at it. He says he wants to talk to Mueller. His attorneys say, “Oh, God, no.”
Says “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough: “His own lawyers think he’s too stupid and too much of a liar to stand up to the heat.”
For good reason. Trump constructed a lie to explain the firing of James Comey. Trump constructed a lie to explain the Trump Tower meeting between a Russian delegation and Trump’s son, son-in-law and others – you know, the meeting convened to discuss adoption, surely something near and dear to Don Jr.’s and Jared Kushner’s hearts.
This lying stuff can be contagious. Now even supposed straight-arrow John Kelly is caught with his tongue in the door jamb.
Kelly wants us to believe that only last week did he become aware of abuse allegations against just-ousted Trump aide Rob Porter, and, that as soon as he knew, Porter was out the door.
That could not possibly be true. The FBI learned about the claims in the process of doing his security clearance. Surely, this information penetrated the consciousness of Mr. Conscience in the Trump White House.
Oh, and on the issue of lies and security clearances, Kushner has yet to answer to why, in obtaining his security clearance, he initially failed to list 100 calls or meetings with foreign officials from more than 20 countries. (Later he added an addendum to his applications.)
This all goes back to a culture of deceit. And the principal and most heinous deceit pertains to Russia’s attack on our country’s elections system as a surrogate for the Trump campaign.
Trump has shrugged and winked and nodded as we have heard story after story about what Russia did to undermine our elections system, from fake posts in social media, to stealing and publishing embarrassing emails from the Democratic Party, to literally worming its way into state elections systems.
Trump and his acolytes want us to believe that the president is being set up by a biased criminal justice system. That’s a joke.
That justice system is trying to investigate the crime of the century, one by which a hostile foreign power helped a man who got fewer votes than his opponent ascend to the White House.
Yes, this is the person who claimed he’d won by a landslide, that 3 million votes had been cast illegally, that illegal voters had been trucked across state lines to defeat him.
He entered lying and never stopped. For the everyday citizen, keeping track of the falsehoods is impossible. Good journalism helps, though. And at least one person, Mueller, has been keeping score.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.