Twice last week, Donald Trump told a vivid story about how he had spoken to reporters at his golf course in Scotland the day before the Brexit vote in 2016 and correctly predicted the outcome. None of this happened. He went to Scotland the day after the vote, not the day before. The day before, he offered no prediction at all. Also last week, Trump told an interviewer that both of his parents were born in the European Union. His father was born in New York City. This was an especially dishonest week, filled with bizarre lies in addition to his usual fudges and exaggerations. Trump made 57 false claims in all, tied for fifth-most of any week of his presidency. The U.S. president is on a kind of dishonesty binge. Three of his six most dishonest weeks as president have come in the last four weeks. He is now up to 2,029 false claims for the first 542 days of his presidency, an average of 3.7 per day.
The Weekly Standard's editors do not hold identical opinions on the frequently baffling and always changing phenomenon known as President Donald Trump. It's fair to say that none of us is a fan of the president, but some of us are more critical, some more sympathetic. All of us, however, were appalled and saddened by Trump's behavior in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
[Trump's] doing all the stuff he'd have been asked to do if such a corrupt bargain had been made. At a certain point and I'd say we're clearly at or past that point it really doesn't matter whether we can prove such a bargain was made. I'm not even sure it matters whether it was explicit or even happened. The bank robber helped the teller get the job and now the teller just won't seem to lock the safe or even turn on the alarm. We can debate forever whether the teller is just absent-minded or has some odd philosophical aversion toward locks. The debate may be unresolvable. It truly doesn't matter. read more
There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president. Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests -- witting, unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia's help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes -- whatever the exact mixture of motives might be, it doesn't really matter. Or he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic not to realize that, at every step, he was advancing the line that Putin hoped he would advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies most dreaded. Conscious tool. Useful idiot. Those are the choices, though both possibly true -- the main question is the proportions.
The Trump administration's zero tolerance border policy may have led to the government separating a family of U.S. citizens. In a recent court filing, Immigration and Customs Enforcement admitted as much. "1 child cannot be reunified at this time because the parent's location has been unknown for more than a year. Defendants are unable to conclusively determine whether the parent is a class member, and records show the parent and child might be U.S. citizens." You read correctly. According to two U.S. Attorneys and six officials within the Department of Justice identified in the Tuesday filing, ICE itself tends to believe that U.S. immigration agents separated a family of U.S. citizensand then lost track of the parent while keeping the child in the custody of an unmentioned government agency.