Opinion: They lie even when they know that you know that they’re lying

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So on Saturday, our new commander in chief goes to CIA headquarters at Langley, stands before a wall commemorating CIA employees killed in the line of duty, and launches into a petty, self-serving and angry tirade about how the lying media lied about the number of people who attended his inauguration.

Even there, at that place, it remains all about him.

Trump claimed that 1.5 million people had attended the inaugural, far more than drawn to President Obama, even though his claim was demonstrably untrue. He whined that the TV networks had shown “an empty field,” as if that empty field was some cow pasture out in Iowa rather than real-time, actual pictures of the National Mall in the midst of the inauguration ceremony.  A few days after comparing the behavior of the intelligence community to that of Nazi Germany, he also told CIA employees that he had always loved and supported the intelligence community, and that any notion of a breach between them was also the creation of the media.

And oh, just as an aside: He repeated his pet contention that after we invaded Iraq we should have taken its oil as war booty, “but, OK, maybe we’ll have another chance” in the future. I’m sure American advisers who are risking their lives trying to build Iraqi trust in our mutual battle against ISIS found that message from their president very useful. I’m equally certain that ISIS and Iran will spread Trump’s admission of American oil-grabbing intent as widely as possible through the Muslim world. Thanks, Mr. President, good job.

Let me outline three other ways in which this was incredibly dumb:

1.) It proves that when given the option of protecting Trump’s ego or doing the smart thing for the country, this administration will choose to protect Trump’s ego. Remember, the press didn’t make this the issue that dominates the first few days of the Trump presidency. Trump did. The smart thing to do would have been to shut up and move on, and if that had happened, the size of the inaugural crowd would have been a footnote in history by now. Dumb dumb dumb.

2.) Speaking of dumb, you can’t fully appreciate the absurdity of the weekend events until you consider the magnitude of the Trump response — Trump at the CIA, plus harsh public broadsides from Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway and Reince Priebus — and remember that the whole thing is about something as inconsequential as crowd size. If this petty topic inspires such an operatic overreaction, what’s gonna happen when some foreign leader calls Trump a clown or embarrasses him in some other way?

3.) Most important, it was dumb because they have now proved that they will lie to the face of the American people, without shame or concern about being caught. They will lie to your face even about easily disprovable facts, and then tell you angrily that you better like it. They will lie when you know they’re lying, and when they know that you know that they’re lying. And even then they’ll stomp their feet in righteous anger when you dare to disbelieve them.

In an argument with Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press” Sunday, Conway tried to claim that she and others weren’t offering lies or falsehoods, they were offering “alternative facts.”  It was the latest expression of the Trump theory described last month by Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes, who argued that “there’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts,” because in a world without verifiable facts they can claim or do anything they want.

However, if the Trump folks don’t like the labels “lie” or “falsehood,” I have an alternative to offer. Maybe we could call these things “wrong Trump facts,” or WTFs. As in:

“There is no evidence that Russia tried to influence our election.” WTF?

“We won a historic electoral landslide.” WTF?

“”The media … sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.” WTF?

It “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.” WTF?

I have a feeling we’re in for a whole lot more WTFs.

Reader Comments 0

1683 comments
Forwhatit'sworth...
Forwhatit'sworth...

Just re-read your column here versus what was printed today.  What editor cut out your quote of Trump's scariest statement about "getting the oil again" in Iraq?  That is stomach wrenching, and apparently not Trump's first time saying it.  Your Dunwoody editors can't let things like that slide.

Forwhatit'sworth...
Forwhatit'sworth...

Thank you for such a great belly laugh this morning. Great comedy/sarcasm. Very Colbert / John Oliver -worthy writing. Nice to read something that made me smile these days.

Rosalind Bond
Rosalind Bond

He can't help it. His ego dictates that everything about him is bigger and better. Everyone in his swamp indulges him. We should let it go because "when they go low, we go high". This is so 3rd grade.

Harriett Holmes
Harriett Holmes

That's the Truth!!!❤ Believe the Lie but know the Truth

maryhowell
maryhowell

Why can't everyone go for some positive news? Why, are we not trying to heal couintry and push forward with positive plans. Who really cares how many people attended inauguration.  Let it go!!! I am sure there are more important things we should be worrying about. So what if Reps. won election and Dems. lost. Let's pull together for good of country and work towards reconciliation of all Americans.

Marilynn Esposito
Marilynn Esposito

Who cares can we all just grow up and move on more important things then this stuff

Karen Parsons
Karen Parsons

They just aren't going to even give him a chance! Come on people!

Sue Barber
Sue Barber

What difference does it make. He won, get over it

Jack Warner
Jack Warner

More fake news. Pictures taken at two different times.

Deanndra Cornett
Deanndra Cornett

Guess they missed the pic that was given showing it.and all the views we got watching live gezz

Linda Lyons
Linda Lyons

Try taking comparable PHOTOS!!! I watched the inauguration & SAW what the crowd size was!!! Your post just makes you look like idiots!

Susan Helton
Susan Helton

Apples and oranges. No time stamps to really compare intelligently.

Rich Boardman
Rich Boardman

it will be impossible to prove one way or another. no satellite coverage. so what we have is a difference of opinion. The pictures here have no basis of comparability other than point of view. time of day? Barricades? protests. Historic first black president, largely black citizen population; democrat political administration and political base.

Daniel Sullivan
Daniel Sullivan

Are you talking about yourself and your own post? Furthermore, the size of the crowd means nothing. It's a worthless argument. The fact that you're still on this shows that you're an idiot

Georgene Cohen
Georgene Cohen

it really isnt important---what is important is that now we have a REAL president in the W.H.

Leath Johnson
Leath Johnson

Trump is still the President\U0001f1fa\U0001f1f8\U0001f1fa\U0001f1f8\U0001f1fa\U0001f1f8\U0001f682\U0001f682\U0001f682

Pam Longo
Pam Longo

Very disappointed that AJC is joining the fake news team. Rediculous!!

Meridyl McBurney
Meridyl McBurney

When Mr Trump was standing at the podium, and prior to as the dignitaries were coming in the ground were jam packed. When was this picture taken, the day before. You are why people are sick of "Fake News'! Shame of you!! You are the ones that know this is dishonest.

Cameron Shrake
Cameron Shrake

Photos were time coded at 11:59 and just after noon. It's alright, Trump seems to be the only one who cares how many people attended. Well I guess his minions too.\U0001f916\U0001f916\U0001f916

Johnny Rango
Johnny Rango

Yeah nice time date stamp on any picture , nice old video of events ? Absolutely no proof these picture have any credibility and you people believe this post like sheeple still haha good luck !

Shirley Richardson
Shirley Richardson

Who cares He is President and America is blessed and we can see the true liberals action that are so corupt and disgusting to say the least.

Lisa Bowen
Lisa Bowen

He also had more people at his rallys we seen it live.Im sure glad Trump is my president.

Marcia Lindsey
Marcia Lindsey

Who cares how many were there, there's more important things in life to be reporting on.

Linda King
Linda King

Post the real pictures and you see who is lying.

Charlotte Isakson
Charlotte Isakson

The electoral college vote, basically showed that lies and cons don't matter. Give a child what they want when they misbehave and almost immediately, they'll learn to use that tactic again and again. Trump and his are no different.

Jeanne Willis
Jeanne Willis

its not important he's pres. now and thats all that matters

Shirley Tomko McFarland
Shirley Tomko McFarland

That was before it began. I watched it all mo Ning. That was around 7:00 am wh en they started going in.

Linda Cahill
Linda Cahill

Don't worry about the numbers! Pick your battles!!! We know, with Twitter, FB ETC, Trump had many more viewers than reported!!! Who cares anyway??!! Trump won!!!

Helen Pulver
Helen Pulver

The Election is over---Put on your big boy & Girl pants and get over it

Corey Chastang Tartt
Corey Chastang Tartt

Where is the pic or video from Fox showing a larger crowd size. No one has a pic with a lager crowd size than this for 2017.