Don’t Fall For These 2 Dirty Tricks Trump Uses to Distract from His Scandals
Thursday evening, around the time President Donald J. Trump was likely retiring to his bed with a cheeseburger and his remote (if claims in Michael Wolff’s book are accurate) the Washington Post reported Trump had launched into a rant earlier in the day. The President asked lawmakers gathered in the Oval Office to talk immigration reform, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
Trump would wait until Friday morning to deny the use of the specific word.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12. 2018
Predictably, his ‘non-denial denial’ pandered to his base. Trump congratulated himself for talking tough and speaking like an every-man. As Newt Gingrich said when asked for comment, “Almost anything he does that is outside the establishment resonates in the end with people who say, well, at least he’s sticking it to the powerful.”
Following comments by the President, I said my piece directly to him yesterday. The President and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel.
– Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 12, 2018
Perhaps Senator Graham was hesitant to criticize President Trump, as Graham himself had referred to Mexico and other Latin American nations as “hellholes” during immigration negotiations back in 2013? Or perhaps it is simply Graham’s newfound appreciation for Trump that led to the passive-aggressive response? During the 2016 primary season, Graham had a much lower opinion of Trump, saying, “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.” Recent articles have described the Trump/Graham relationship as “best friends” or a “budding bromance.” Likely, Graham understands South Carolina’s position near the front of the 2020 primary field provides an opportunity for Graham to reap Trump-style “huge” rewards for his home state in return for becoming a loyalist.
Trump is many things, and which of those things he is at any point in time often is determined by which side of the political aisle one sits on. But his proponents and detractors would likely agree on one thing: Trump is a master at misdirection. Sometimes, he is like a sleight-of-hand magician, drawing attention to one hand while he plays out the trick right in front of your unseeing eyes with the other. Sometimes he is like a firefighter battling a spreading wildfire by starting a series of smaller back-burns to draw fuel away from the primary fire.
In this case, the fire was a story that broke on Friday accusing Trump of having a sexual encounter with porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) in Lake Tahoe. The alleged tryst occurred while he and Melania were still newlyweds. The Wall Street Journal alleges Daniels was paid six-figures in hush money through Trump attorney Michael Cohen. The accusation first surfaced in the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. This was around the same time as the Access Hollywood tapes were made public.
Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
There are a couple of problems with this claim, though. The embassy move was announced in October of 2008, when George W. Bush was still President. It was deemed the best fiscal decision. Refitting the existing embassy to modern standards would have been more costly than replacing it. And the sale of the prior embassy must have generated more than “peanuts.” The new embassy includes all the upgrades, updates, and security features the prior embassy lacked. And it was funded “entirely by the proceeds of the sale of other U.S. Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds.”
Ignore Stephen Miller and Sarah Huckabee Sanders and all the other magician’s assistants parading around the stage waving props. Ignore the shiny objects tossed in the air as a distraction. Even ignore the booms, and bangs, and flashes of light. Focus on the magician at all times. Whether businessman, candidate, or President, Donald J. Trump always has something up his sleeve. He calls for our attention, drawing us over, barking that he wants to show us a trick. Usually, what he has up his sleeve is matches, and by now, we should all be tiring of getting burned.
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