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Every post-election week with Donald Trump feels like an eternity. The details change but the story stays the same: Trump whines, lies and pleads for attention, scrambling facts, fiction and conspiracy into a fatiguing, but now familiar blend. Last week followed the same formula, with Trump pretending not to know what he knows and to be an expert in everything he doesn’t know, all while waging petty wars using time that could be spent boning up on policy. He ended the week with an intelligence briefing (we’ve sunk so low, PEOTUS doing his job qualifies as news), but it did little to markedly shift the tone. And in that tone is the message, “We are so screwed.”
So we don’t forget, here’s a look back at just 10 of Trump’s most recent lies and fails.
1. Calling for an investigation of NBC instead of the Russian hacks.
Trump’s denial of Russian cyberattacks in the face of tremendous evidence may be because he 1) actually thinks he knows more than the generals do; 2) is the ultimate Putin fanboy and debtor to Russia; or 3) is a Kremlin puppet. Add to this the fact that Trump refuses to have daily intelligence briefings because he’s “like, a smart person,” and the knowledge gap makes yet more sense. After making a big show of his disinterest in national security issues, Trump got huffy after NBC News offered a sneak peek into the findings detailed in an intelligence report on the Russian hacks. Though he’s steadfastly stood against an investigation into Russian cyberespionage against American democracy, he’s now calling for an investigation into “top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.” He cares because he was left out. Trump only wants to be in a club that won’t have him as a member.
After finally sitting down to be briefed by intelligence officials Friday, Trump released a statement saying the meeting was “constructive,” but he still failed to focus on Russia as the primary culprit, talking in circles. He announced that he’ll be putting together a team to broadly combat cyberattacks, but said nothing about digging into the hacking the entire rest of the country wants to know about.
2. Making personal calls instead of doing his friggin’ job.
A bitter, pathetic man who has dedicated his life to seeking revenge, Trump is still duking it out with Ohio governor John Kasich, who dropped out of the GOP presidential race nearly a year ago. Instead of attending to the things an incoming president should be, Trump took a break from hate-tweeting at TV shows to make personal phone calls to Ohio voters, all because he wants a Kasich-backed candidate to lose in the state GOP race. Funny what he finds time for.
3. Accepting Julian Assange’s word over 17 intelligence agencies.
Trump doubts the experts of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies who contend they have concrete proof of Russian hacking, and thinks we should just go with Wikileaks founder and rape suspect Julian Assange on this one. Trump sent multiple tweets this week pushing Assange’s claims on the matter, along with bloviations from Fox News blowhard Sean Hannity. When called out on it, Trump tweeted, “The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!”
4. Admitting he duped his know-nothing voter base on the border wall, then lying again.
As was apparent to any non-delusional person since Trump launched his campaign, there is no way Mexico is going to pay for Trump’s big, dumb wall. Trump, correctly estimating the sky-high gullibility of his base, knew this the whole time. In recent days, his team reportedly told House Republicans “that [Trump’s] preference is to fund the border wall through the appropriations process,” i.e., taxpayer dollars.
After news leaked that Trump’s central campaign promise was a big lie, he told another lie to cover it up, insisting, “that any money spent on building the Great Wall…will be paid back by Mexico later!” Except no, it won’t. You can’t just invoice a country for your nonsense bad ideas, sorry.
5. Lying about having a hand in every job-saving deal.
Trump has lied about creating or saving jobs for Sprint, Carrier and Ford.
6. But refusing to take credit for job losses.
After Macy’s responded to Trump’s racist comments about Mexicans by removing his clothing line from the store (though his daughter Ivanka’s label is still sold there), he demanded his supporters boycott the department store chain for being “disloyal.” Whether that boycott was the source of Macy’s recent financial woes is up for debate, but since Trump has taken credit where it definitely isn’t due for the last 18 months (and pretty much his whole life), he deserves at least part of the blame for the 10,000 job cuts and 68 store closings the retailer announced days ago.
That’s also true for Boeing, which saw stocks tumble after Trump tweeted negatively about it because he was angry about a magazine article. The company has announced it’s cutting 8 percent of jobs in 2017. And what about the 109 Kmart and 41 Sears stores that are shuttering? Or the jobs McDonald’s is outsourcing to India? Not a peep from Trump, despite that fact that those unemployment numbers will be absorbed by the working class he lies about defending. All in all, the thousands of people who will be losing their jobs far outpaces the people whose jobs Trump only pretended to save.
7. Calling Democratic senator Chuck Shumer a ‘clown,’ then saying we need to unite 9 minutes later.
8. Throwing Obama’s political ambassadors and their families out on short notice.
According to the New York Times, Trump’s team has “issued a blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day…breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods.” There are reportedly “no exceptions,” including those previously granted to ambassadors who will need to uproot their families, especially those with school-age kids. The Times reports that the Trump decision “threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain.”
“It feels like there’s an element just of spite and payback in it,” Derek Shearer, a former U.S. ambassador to Finland, told the newspaper. “I don’t see a higher policy motive.”
9. Scheduling a news conference to distract from his appointee hearings.
Trump tweeted a few days ago that he “will be having a general news conference on JANUARY ELEVENTH in N.Y.C.” That means nothing, considering Trump is a pathological liar who promises things all the time. Still, this press conference may happen, if only because it’s scheduled the same day as confirmation hearings for his cabinet picks. As Media Matters notes:
“The strategy seems designed to ensure that the media is unable to devote sufficient scrutiny to each story and to reduce the possibility of an educated public responding…[B]y refusing to give a press conference for so long…Trump has created such a backlog of potential issues that it will be impossible for reporters to give all of them the time and coverage they deserve. Meanwhile, McConnell has done his best to fracture journalist attention by ensuring that six different confirmation hearings are scheduled for the same day…Several of these nominations are extremely controversial…But with all the hearings stacked on the same day, on top of Trump’s press conference, it’s impossible for the media to provide the information people need. And that’s the point—it appears to be a deliberate effort to manipulate both the press and the public.”
10. Still publicly smarting about being dissed by all the cool-kid pop stars for his little inauguration thing.
He’s super bad at playing it cool.