As is well known, President DJT takes full advantage -- and then some -- of ambiguities and prohibitions in the laws governing presidential conflicts of interest. He says he has turned over management of all his businesses to his two adult sons. But he has not divested himself of direct ownership of those same businesses. And, frankly, it has become quite clear that not one word that comes out of President DJT's mouth can be taken as truth.
He lies so regularly about such insignificant, easily fact-checked things that we cannot assume that he is truthful about anything. Suppose he now needs to alert us to a looming national security attack and get support for a course of action? Who would believe him? This is perhaps the most profound effect that DJT has yet had on the American people's belief in their government.
Here's the cold, hard fact: For the remainder of DJT's term, it can no longer be assumed that anything he or his surrogates say is true. He has destroyed the credibility of the United States -- and our allies are beginning to realize this.
This is not simply about campaign promises that he can't fulfill. It ranges from lying about the size of his crowds to accusing President Obama of having his phone tapped -- and making such a serious charge against his predecessor without offering a shred of evidence.
It does also involve a chameleon quality to his stand on issues. He is an empty vessel, with no convictions of his own; and he often flips his stand depending on who last talked with him. He boasted that his "beautiful" health care plan would cover everyone; yet now he's all on board with the Ryan plan that the Brookings Institute estimates will cause 15 million people to lose their insurance.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming to Washington to meet with President DJT on Tuesday. What must she be thinking? Can she, should she, believe anything that he will say to her, the head of state of one of our most important allies, as well as the de facto leader of the European Union?
DJT's lying is pervasive; it's effect on our country is profound. In a separate post tomorrow, I'll discuss the related problem of skirting the laws regarding conflict of interest and presidential expenses.