As our emotionally battered carcasses are dragged inexorably toward next week’s midterm election, President Donald Trump has spent his time leading up to the big day doing everything possible to both rile up his noxious base of tinfoil hat bigots in a desperate attempt to both convey a sense of both urgency (the brown people are coming to kill you!) and placate them into thinking everything is fine. It’s just fine. It’s. Completely. Fine.
Which brings us to Tuesday night, and the president’s bonkers interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, which was less a “conversation” than it was an opportunity for Trump to string together a series of increasingly outlandish lies, with a few conjunctions thrown in for good measure.
Folks, let’s go to the transcript:
JONATHAN KARL: Okay, you’re talking about 10,000, maybe 15,000, active-duty U.S. military to the border –-
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah.
JONATHAN KARL: — more than we have fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. More than we have fighting ISIS in Syria. You’re really going to do that?
DONALD TRUMP: It’s very important. We have to have a wall of people –- very highly trained people, terrific, dedicated patriots. That’s what they are. You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than it’s reported actually. I’m pretty good at estimating crowd size. And I’ll tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think. So we’ll find out.
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From “build that wall” to “wall of people,” Trump’s border build-up caught everyone—including and especially the Pentagon—by surprise, after Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy put the number at the much lower (but still insane) 5,200 hundred troops.
As for the president’s insistence that the caravan of Central American asylum seekers is “a lot larger than it’s reported actually” because he’s “pretty good at estimating crowd size,” let’s, um, check in with former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Most recent estimates put the size of the caravan at just over 3,500 people, down dramatically from its initial capacity of 7,000. No matter what the size of the caravan is, however, it’s entirely possible that Trump’s troop surge won’t even be there when the asylum seekers arrive. The caravan is traveling by foot and remains hundreds of miles from the U.S. Mexico border, while the Pentagon has only authorized the president’s military build-up through December 15.
JONATHAN KARL: You think those caravans are an invasion?
DONALD TRUMP: I do think so. When you look at some of them, when you look at some of the people in them, yeah, I think it can be considered an invasion. We can’t have it. We can’t have it from a cost standpoint.
As a reminder, applying for asylum is a completely legal process—no matter how insanely difficult it’s become.
But, lest you think the president is completely full of shit, allow him to explain why he is actually super duper truthful and loves to be honest all the time:
JONATHAN KARL: I remember well –- you remember well in the campaign, you made a promise. You said, “I will never lie to you.” Can you tell me now, honestly, have you kept that promise at all times? Have you always been truthful?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I try. I do try. I think you try too. You say things about me that aren’t necessarily correct. I do try, and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth. And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different or there’s a change, but I always like to be truthful.
Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahaha.
Trump has really been on one lately, but it’s safe to assume this is just an appetizer of the craziness in store if the GOP loses one or more chambers of Congress next week. Lucky us.