But few of these lies were as chilling as the one last week at a fundraiser in Missouri.
The president recounted how Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had told him that the U.S. doesn’t have a trade deficit with his country. Trump said he contradicted Trudeau — “Wrong, Justin, you do” — even though “I didn’t even know. … I had no idea.” When Trudeau insisted, “We have no trade deficit,” Trump replied: “I don’t believe it.” He then called in an aide who supposedly told him that the U.S. has no trade deficit with Canada — but only if you don’t count energy and timber. “ ‘And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year,’ ” Trump quoted the aide as saying. “It’s incredible.”
It’s incredible, all right, as in literally not credible. Trump’s own U.S. trade representative reports that the United States has a $12.5 billion trade surplus with Canada, and that includes energy and timber. But Trump didn’t back down: He insisted that his “alternative facts” were superior to actual facts.
.. On Thursday, the president tweeted: “We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive).” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was sent out to do a full Spicer by dutifully saying, without a scintilla of substantiation, that “there are plenty of things, once you take into the full account of all of the trade between the two countries, that show that there is actually a deficit.”
.. this is another example of a would-be dictator’s desire not just to sneak lies by us but to shove them down our throats. Trump is signaling that he doesn’t care what the truth is. From now on the truth will be whatever he says, and he expects every loyal follower to faithfully parrot the official party line. Or else.
.. after Trump’s graceless ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The White House initially claimed that Tillerson had been notified the previous Friday that he was being let go, but on Tuesday Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, contradicted that spin by telling reporters that Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his firing and had just found out about it. Goldstein was immediately canned and, in a significant bit of symbolism, replaced with a former host of “Fox & Friends,” Trump’s favorite TV show. Trump is sending a signal that not only does he insist on his right to lie but that he regards telling the truth as a firing offense.
.. Trump’s gloating tweet makes it obvious this was punishment for telling the truth about the Maximum Leader’s attempts to obstruct justice and end an investigation into his links to the Kremlin.
.. As his presidency advances, Trump is becoming increasingly intolerant of disagreement and defiance, especially from aides who know what they are talking about.
Gary Cohn tried to tell him that tariffs and trade wars are bad economics; Trump didn’t listen and Cohn resigned.
Tillerson tried to tell him that scrapping the Iran nuclear deal is a bad strategy, and now he’s gone. National security adviser
H.R. McMaster is saidto be the next candidate for the heave-ho, because he reportedly rubs Trump the wrong way.
.. The frightening thing is that Trump’s insistence on redefining reality is working, at least with his base.
.. The video news site NowThis has posted a hilarious and horrifying clip showing Fox News talking heads hyperventilating over President Barack Obama’s promise to meet with the leaders of hostile states such as North Korea (Mike Huckabee: “President Obama likes talking to dictators!”), before going on to fulsomely praise President Trump for doing just that.
.. Trump is sucking a substantial portion of America into his Orwellian universe. The rest of us have to struggle simply to remember that war isn’t peace, freedom isn’t slavery, ignorance isn’t strength.
Former FBI official Andrew McCabe memorialized his interactions with President Trump in contemporaneous memos, two people familiar with the case said, and they could become a key piece of evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe.
.. The memos could help bolster McCabe’s credibility, insulating him from allegations that he misstated or misremembered his interactions with Trump. On Friday, McCabe was fired from the FBI,about 26 hours before he was set to retire
.. Trump, during an Oval Office meeting in May, had asked McCabe who he voted for in the 2016 election, then vented about hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations that McCabe’s wife had received.
.. Trump renewed some of those complaints on Saturday, writing in a tweet, “The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife’s campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!”
.. Comey wrote on Twitter just minutes after the Trump’s tweet, “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.”
.. Comey is set to release a book next month, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,”
.. McCabe told CNN in an interview in advance of his firing that Trump was focused on his wife’s campaign and alleged there were at least four times where Trump called it a “mistake” or “problem,” or branded his wife a “loser.” McCabe said he told the president he himself had not voted in the 2016 election.
.. The president would later say in a television interview that he was thinking of “this Russia thing with Trump” when he decided to remove Comey.
.. The move will likely cost McCabe significant retirement benefits, because he could not retire Sunday, when he turns 50.
President Trump’s lawyer called on the Justice Department to immediately shut down the special counsel probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, in the wake of the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Attorney John Dowd said in a statement that the investigation, now led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, was fatally flawed early on and “corrupted” by political bias. He called on Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees that probe, to shut it down.
“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd said in an emailed statement.
Dowd told The Washington Post on Saturday he was speaking for himself and not on Trump’s behalf. Earlier Saturday, Dowd told the Daily Beast that he was speaking on behalf of the president and in his capacity as the president’s attorney.
Sessions late Friday night fired McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire — a move that McCabe alleged was an attempt to “slander” him and undermine the ongoing special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign.
Sessions announced the decision in a statement just before 10 p.m., noting that both the Justice Department inspector general and the FBI office that handles discipline had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
.. If Dowd’s statement reflected Trump’s legal strategy, it would represent a significant shift in the president’s approach to the Mueller investigation.
.. McCabe’s firing touched off a firestorm late Friday. The now-former No. 2 at the FBI, who is a witness in the Russia case, shot back immediately.
“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” McCabe said. “It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”
.. His firing — which was recommended by the FBI office that handles discipline — stems from a Justice Department inspector general investigation that found McCabe authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to the media about a Clinton-related case, then misled investigators about his actions in the matter, people familiar with the matter have said