President Donald Trump has bombarded the public with so many lies in the past two years that we’ve almost become desensitized to it. Lately, however, one would be hard-pressed to find even one truthful statement in anything he says, and that is simply astounding. This is the president of the United States, after all.
On Sunday, before heading to Camp David for a policy meeting with staff, Trump held a Q&A with reporters. He lied so extensively in that exchange that the task at hand no longer is to discern which of his statements are true or false, but rather which lies are so egregious that they make us laugh out loud (or cry).
The most disturbing thing he said today (so far) is that he is considering declaring a national emergency over funding for his phony border wall. There are a couple of lies here. The first, and most obvious, is that there is any type of crisis at the border that would justify declaring a national emergency.
The second lie is his justification for “wall” funding: “If you go back to the year 2000, we have thousands of people that have been killed by illegal immigration, by people coming into the country illegally and killing our citizens. We can’t have it,” Trump said.
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I’m not even going to fact-check that, because I know he just pulled it out of his ass.
Another lie is that the “surge to come into our country has never been stronger.”
As Politico reported, there were 396,579 arrests of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2018, which is lower than the previous decade’s average of 400,751. To be truthful, Trump would’ve had to say that illegal border crosses were below average last year. The previous year, in 2017, illegal border crossings dropped to a historic low. But that doesn’t bode well for Trump’s argument in favor of a border “wall.”
Trump also claimed that his “wall” no longer will be a concrete wall, but rather a steel “barrier,” and that it will somehow help the U.S. steel industry recover.
In the same rant, Trump said that “many of those incredible people agree with me and they say, ‘Make sure you win this battle.’ I’m not sure which incredible people he’s referring to here, but I can guarantee that whoever they are, they don’t agree with him. He added: “This wall will pay for itself many times during the course of a year.” That statement is similar to his endless campaign promises that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico won’t pay for the wall, of course, and the wall won’t pay for the wall, either.
The next lie involved hundreds of thousands of federal employees affected by the Trump shutdown. “Many of those people agree 100% with what I’m doing,” Trump said. Sure, pal. Who doesn’t like to work for free?
Next was the claim that “a lot of work has been done on the wall. There’s been tremendous renovation,” he said, also claiming that he no longer says, “Build the wall,” but rather, “Finish the wall.” Seconds later, he said, “Build the wall.”
Trump also claimed that, “People that didn’t vote for Donald Trump are for [the wall] also. They want border security.” And regarding the federal employees calling in sick rather than working for no pay, Trump said, “Many of those workers agree with me.”
But his best lie of the day, in my opinion, was this: “I’ve created such a great economy that people are pouring up to try and get jobs. So, you could say it’s my fault.”
Keep dreaming, Donnie. Keep dreaming.