The Trump Watch – March 2018

Caught Lying

At a gathering of television news anchors and reporters, Agent Orange gave NBC’s Lester Holt a hard time about Holt’s May 2017 interview of the president, accusing Holt and NBC of editing out Trump remarks that were, according to the president, almost Shakespearean.

Holt’s reply: the interview has been posted online in its entirety. Implicit: anyone can go there and plainly see that we didn’t edit it.

In other words, Trump lied – and got caught in the act.

Lying (Again)

I never said Russia did not meddle in the election

Trump tweeted.

But oh, he has said exactly that – again and again.

In February of 2017, according to Vox,

Trump said, “The whole Russian thing, that’s a ruse. That’s a ruse.”

And Vox offers more.

In May 2017, soon after firing then-FBI Director James Comey, Trump told NBC News’s Lester Holt that his decision was based on the Russia investigation’s progress. “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,’” he said.


In September 2017, he tweeted about Russian ad-buying on Facebook to influence voters, calling it a continuation of the Russia hoax.”

And then there’s this:

As recently as last month, Trump was claiming the Russia investigation was a Democratic hoax. “For 11 months, they’ve had this phony cloud over this administration, over our government. And it has hurt our government. It’s a Democratic hoax that was brought up as an excuse for losing an election that frankly the Democrats should have won,” he said at a press conference. At the same conference, he repeated the words “no collusion” seven times in a single answer.

And last November, Vox reports, Trump told reporters that

Every time he [Putin] sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.

So when Trump says he never said Russia didn’t meddle in the election, all we have to go by are…his numerous statements in which he said Russia didn’t meddle in the election.


 We know by now that Trump doesn’t like to read – and often, won’t read. The people who brief him on things like national intelligence have to make their point with photos and charts because they’ve learned that they can’t count on him to read anything they give him.

But his listening skills aren’t exactly top-notch, either, and that was put on clear display recently. While parked in his favorite place other than the seventh hole at Mar-a-Lago – that is, in front of his television set – Trump heard a Fox News anchor make the following statement:

Congressman Schiff, he argues the Republican memo omitted and distorted key facts.

Which went into Trump’s ears and through to his brain and came out as a tweet shortly thereafter stating that

Congressman Schiff omitted and distorted key facts’ @FoxNews So, what else is new. He is a total phony!

In other words, Trump completely misinterpreted the anchor’s explanation and the congressman’s words.

That’s bad enough, but do you know what’s even worse? A president who gets his news from television. Presidents should be giving the news to television, not learning about what’s going on from television.

 More Misinterpretation

“Hey, that’s MY line!”

Muhammad Ali used to brag about being “the greatest” but Agent Orange thinks that title now belongs to him.

As reported by Yahoo News,

President Trump appeared to be in a jovial mood at a GOP retreat in West Virginia on Thursday, boasting about how his administration has “fulfilled far more promises than we’ve promised.” And without quite saying so himself, he claimed Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, once told him that he is “the greatest president in the history of our country.”

 “And I said, ‘Does that include Lincoln and Washington?’” Trump recalled. “And he said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘I love this guy.’”

Just one problem: Hatch never called him “the greatest president in the history of our country.” What Hatch did say was that Trump “can be” the greatest, not that he is the greatest.

A pretty big difference, no?

Glad He Cleared That Up

 Who would have thought that a president of the United States would need to explain that he opposes domestic violence?

But that’s exactly what Agent Orange felt the need to do recently after waiting much too long to fire Rob Porter, the serial wife-beater who worked for him, and after waiting much too long to explain why.

 As reported by CNN,

 I’m totally opposed to domestic violence. And everybody here knows that,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “I’m totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn’t even have to be said. So, now you hear it, but you all know.”

But it DID have to be said – so now we understand that the president believes in limiting his own acts of sexual abuse, like p—y grabbing, strictly to women who aren’t his wife/wives.

“I’m so proud of Donald.”

Positively Nixonian

 One of the (many) reasons Agent Orange is so unhappy with Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions: Sessions refuses to investigate Trump’s political enemies just because the president asks him to do so.

 If This Be Treason…

When Democrats failed to rise to their feet every time Trump uttered three syllables during his state-of-the-union address, the president was disappointed.

And apparently, angry.

As reported by the online publication Roll Call,

Their collective reaction shows they “would rather see Trump do badly than our country do well. It’s very selfish,” he said. “They were like death and un-American. Someone said … treasonous.. Yeah, why not? They certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

Seriously: he suggested that anything other than uncritical, unconditional support of the president was un-American and treasonous.

For a reality check, here’s what the constitution says about treason:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Of course, expecting Agent Orange to know and understand what the constitution says, and that Democrats declining to give him a standing ovation comes nowhere near such a standard, may be unreasonable.

Strange Priorities

While riding the stationary bike last week The Curmudgeon was watching Fox & Friends – yes, he tries to catch at least a few minutes every weekday – and they were interviewing a spokesman from the Boeing company. Boeing is making two new Air Force One planes and Trump has complained about the cost of those planes. When asked – and this was the narrative the Fox & Friends folks clearly were shooting for – the spokesman said that the president had been very hands-on in the price negotiations.

Very hands on, he emphasized in response to the prodding from the Fox & Friends hosts.

Contrast this with Agent Orange’s decision to let chief of staff John Kelly make the decision about Jared Kushner’s access to classified information in light of Kushner’s inability, after more than a one year, to satisfy the FBI that he’s not a security risk.   Trump has the authority but bailed on the responsibility.

So while he’s hand-on in a price negotiation over the cost of two lousy airplanes he decides not to make a decision about a member of his inner circle who is pretty clearly a security risk.

Way to understand what’s really important, Cadet Bone Spurs.

Once a Real Estate Guy, Always a Real Estate Guy

His plate is full of pretty important stuff but Agent Orange is as easy to distract as a baby is with a rattle, as demonstrated by his tweet about the relocation of a U.S. embassy:

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!

A few thoughts.

First: the decision to relocate the embassy was made by George W. Bush, not Barack Obama – but let’s not let the facts get in the way of a nasty tweet opportunity.

Second: grow up!

Trump’s Solution for Addressing Drug Dealers

“I’m a tough guy, I’ll do it myself.”

Fry ‘em.

The web site Axios reports that

In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking offenses. And President Trump loves it. He’s been telling friends for months that the country’s policy to execute drug traffickers is the reason its drug consumption rates are so low.


He often jokes about killing drug dealers… He’ll say, ‘You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.’


But the president doesn’t just joke about it. According to five sources who’ve spoken with Trump about the subject, he often leaps into a passionate speech about how drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should all get the death penalty.

Heaven help us.

Only Friends Need Apply

There’s a job opening as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and Cadet Bone Spurs thinks he knows the right man for the job.

If this guy can be in charge of seeking peace in the Middle East, why can’t Trump’s personal pilot run the FAA?

His personal pilot.


John Dunkin, who was Trump’s pilot during his 2016 presidential campaign, is now on the short list for the job.

One can only hope that the next time there’s an opening at the Department of Agriculture he doesn’t nominate the greenskeeper at one of his golf courses.

A Diplomat He’s Not

The plan was for Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto to travel to Washington to meet with the president. That plan ran into a problem: Nieto got on the phone with Trump, they talked about the wall Trump wants to build with Mexico picking up the tab, and Trump lost his temper when Nieto said that Trump would need to affirm that Mexico will not be expected to pay for the wall.

Bottom line: Nieto’s not coming to the U.S.

Not only can this guy not make any deals but he can’t even bring parties to the table to attempt to negotiate them.

Me First

When special counsel Robert Mueller announced the indictment of 13 Russians for conspiring to defraud the U.S. and this latest round of indictments included no one associated with his campaign, Trump immediately claimed that the indictments amounted to a vindication of his insistence that there had been no collaboration between his campaign and Russia.

But not a word about the idea that individuals working for the Russian government were trying to interfere with a U.S. election and not even a whiff of expressed interest in doing anything to prevent something like that from ever happening again.

It’s as if Russia declared war on the U.S. and Cadet Bone Spurs decided he wouldn’t even fight back.

Because it’s all about him, and what Russia does or doesn’t do only matters to him insofar as it directly affects him personally.

CPAC and Guns

The Curmudgeon planned to go into great detail on these subjects but now thinks it’s not necessary because you know the story: Agent Orange was against doing anything to limit access to automatic weapons, then he wanted to do something to limit access to automatic weapons – even if it involves denying people due process – and you know, you absolutely know, that when the furor dies down he’s going to end up not doing a damn thing to limit access to automatic weapons.

The guy is all over the place on this issue, as he is on many, mostly because first, he’s ignorant, second, he’s pandering, and third, his lack of knowledge about this issue, like so many other issues, means the view he’s expressing on any given day is based mostly on the last views he heard before he speaks. That’s what happens when you have a president who doesn’t believe in anything other than himself and has virtually no foundation of knowledge in any area – not even in business, as his recent tariff increases, which will hurt as many American workers as they help, clearly attests. He actually knows relatively little about “business” other than the one and only field in which he’s worked since he was a teenager. If you have the time, read the transcript of his CPAC speech: it’s full of him, full of misleading statements, full of lies. His philosophy is that if you’re going to make things up, if you’re going to lie, you have to commit to your lies: you need to keep telling your lies over and over and over again until the people who are already predisposed to like you come to believe them.

And that’s why he’s on what appears to be a clear path, with minimal obstructions – assuming he and important people around him don’t get indicted for colluding with the Russians – to being a two-term president. As strange as it may seem to the kind of folks who generally visit this space, Trump’s friends still believe pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth. And all the appalling things described above? The poor performance, the shockingly terrible diplomacy, the demagoguery, the lies, the bad decisions? For the most part they’re not paying attention, and when they do, they don’t care about this stuff and still support him.

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