Alex Shephard, New Republic: It's hard to accurately characterize President Donald Trump's habit of making consistently false, frequently self-contradictory, often hypocritical, and always flamboyant statements. No word quite captures their all-encompassing magnitude, their frequency, and, often, their sheer pointlessness. "Lies" is always a good place to start, but in Trump's case it only begins to cover the problem. "Bull---" is too cute for the rolling crisis we find ourselves in. "Gaslighting" implies that something strategic is happening, and Trump appears to be working on pure intuition. We don't have the language to convey how serious the president's lies -- or obfuscations or exaggerations or feints or whatever else you want to call them -- are. read more
A former ethics chief in the George W. Bush administration condemned President Donald Trump's mishandling of calls to families of fallen soldiers, and said Trump lacks compassion because he ducked his own military service.
Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer, told CNN on Wednesday night that Trump's public references to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's son, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, were "atrocious."
"He has no empathy, no understanding of the human emotions of what people go through because he never did it himself, he stayed home during Vietnam with his sore foot or whatever it was," Painter said. "What he's done to Gen. Kelly is atrocious."
Trump's medical deferment for bone spurs in his feet in the 1960s allowed him to avoid being drafted for Vietnam service. He couldn't remember which foot was affected when asked about it in 2015. His campaign said it was both. read more
In normal, non-Trumpian times, it might come as a surprise to learn that the president of the United States had offered to personally send a grieving military father $25,000 to make up for the loss of his dead son. It would be even more shocking to learn that after making that strange, unusual promise, he never actually followed through. Obviously, though, these past 10 months have not been normal times. The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump, who has spent the last week falsely claiming that hes "called every family of somebody that's died" since he became president, did both of those things earlier this year. read more
If this doesn't wake up the Republicans, what will? read more
Trump in a tweet Wednesday denied that he had told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Africa this month that her husband "must have known what he signed up for."
But the mother of the fallen soldier stood behind the account, saying that Trump "did disrespect" the family with his comments during a phone call. read more