An early autumn daydream: Donald John Trump resigned yesterday as the 45th president of the United States. Trump explained he didn’t like the job or need it, and was losing billions from his business since his swearing-in on Jan. 20, 2017.
Trump claimed his action had nothing to do with House of Representatives impeachment proceedings. Rather, he said during a speech at the Shell petrochemical plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, “This thing is costing me a fortune, being president.” He went on, “What about the $5 billion that I’ll lose? It’s probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion.”
Trump later told Reuters, “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
His decision to leave the presidency was apparently best expressed when he said, “Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.” Now he has.
So, Trump’s quotes are accurate, the “news” Trump resigned, isn’t. I made that up. I lied. Just like my president has lied more than 12,000 times since being sworn in.
The way I figure it, if the president can blatantly, provably, consistently lie to the American people with no consequences, so can I. I’m simply following his example. And indulging in a bit of wishful thinkging?
But, gentle reader, lest you think I’m lying about Trump’s lying, let’s fact check our president to see if he’s lying.
Trump: “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the … People.”
The truth: An impeachment is not a coup, it is a strictly by-the-book constitutional inquiry; just like Clinton and Nixon’s. Trump lied.
Trump: “He (Adam Schiff on the whistleblower’s complaint) knew long before, and he helped write it, too.”
The truth: False. Trump was referencing a New York Times piece about how Schiff’s committee staff learned of the whistle-blower’s concerns days before the complaint was filed. The Times did not report Schiff “helped write it.” Schiff’s spokesman said Schiff had seen no part of the complaint before it was filed. Trump lied.
Trump: “I had a transcript (of the call with Ukraine President Zelensky) done by very, very talented people — word for word, comma for comma. … We had an exact transcript,” Trump said at a news conference with Finland’s president. “This is an exact word-for-word transcript of the conversation, right? Taken by very talented stenographers,” he added in remarks to reporters in the Oval Office.
The truth: False. Trump did not release a word-for-word transcript, he released a memorandum summarizing the call. It says so, printed right on the document produced by the White House. Trump lied.
Trump: “The first so-called second-hand information ‘Whistleblower’ got my phone conversation (with Zelensky) almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another ‘Whistleblower’ is coming in from the Deep State, also with second-hand info.”
The truth: The whistleblower got it very, very right (just read it). And there is no deep state. The Intelligence inspector general says the second whistleblower has first-hand information. Trump lied.
Trump: “WHO CHANGED THE LONG STANDING WHISTLEBLOWER RULES JUST BEFORE SUBMITTAL OF THE FAKE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT? DRAIN THE SWAMP!” Here Trump alleges the rules for intelligence whistleblowers had been “secretly” changed to allow people to make complaints based on second-hand information. “WOW, they (the House Intelligence committee) got caught,” Trump added.
The truth: False. The Trump-appointed IA Inspector General Michael Atkinson explicitly explained the rules had not been changed. Trump lied.
Trump: Trump says China is “eating the tariffs” he has imposed on imports of Chinese products (as part of his trade war).
The truth: False. Economic studies find Americans are bearing the overwhelming majority of Trump’s trade war tariff costs, not the Chinese. Trump lied.
Trump: “And the wall is going up, many miles a week;” a Sept. 25 press conference after the United Nations General Assembly.
The truth: False. No new miles of border wall have been built during Trump’s presidency as of Sept. 30, according to a fact sheet from Customs and Border Protection. Trump lied.
In my last 2018 column I predicted Trump wouldn’t last the year as president. I still think that’s true. But I’m going to spot myself a quarter; I underestimated how much stonewalling he would do.
I don’t think he has the guts or brains to fight an impeachment. He’ll fold like a cheap lawn chair and will run as the Republican nominee. And then it will be, “Hello, President Warren.” Or Kamala or Mayor Pete. Stay tuned.
Tom Burke’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.