The Don’s capacity for lying is legendary. It is psychopathic. It is the one thing he is truly great at. In fact, you could say that a fundamental foundation for his running for president was based on the lie about Obama and the question of his birth.
The Don lives and dies by the lie.
The question pondered by pundits and psychologists is: does The Don deliberately lie, or is his lying reflective of a delusional process? In other words: is he looking you right in the eye and saying something with utter certitude knowing that he is making it up; or does he believe what he is saying, despite the fact that he his stating a known falsehood?
I believe the answer is both.
First, a few examples of the look-you-in-the-face peddling of falsehoods:
During the campaign, he shoveled dirt featured in the National Enquirer about Ted Cruz’s father’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination. I don’t think he really believed it, but he used it as a ploy to get under Cruz’s skin. (As much as The Don loves the Enquirer, even he knows that it peddles absurdity and fake news.)
There was his claim as a candidate that legions of Arabs celebrated wildly in New Jersey as the World Trade Center collapsed. Of course there was no evidence of this, but promulgation of this lie brought him the attention he craves and gave him a foundation-all be it false- to build his racist anti-Muslim policy:
“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down. And that tells you something.
Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time.
There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.”
So on to his statements that live in the delusional realm.
Perfect examples of these are the crowd at his inauguration was bigger than Obama’s or that 3 million voted illegally, which is why Hillary won the popular vote.
His consistent insistence on these clearly erroneous statements and need to maintain these alternative facts relates to his profoundly disturbing narcissism; the idea that Hillary or Obama beat him at anything is such an assault on his fragile psyche that he needs to reinvent reality in order to preserve his grandiosity.
Returning to the in-your-face category, we have his flip- flopping, transactional lying. Let’s take the statement that relates to the salacious details of the Steele Dossier. So Don did you or didn’t you stay overnight in Russia during the Ms. Teen Universe pageant?
Initially, he lied and stated he didn’t. Allegations related to the “golden shower” incident couldn’t possibly be true, because he wasn’t there. What’s striking about this lie is that he knew there was verifiable contradictory evidence. There were reporters in attendance; a plane record that proved he was there overnight and even his personal bodyguard said he left him in the room when he went off to sleep. But he still lied. Eventually, he backed off from this statement and acknowledged he was there overnight.
And now you have the flip-flopping related to his relationship with Michael Cohen.
In a recent rant on Fox News, that was so unhinged that the anchors of the show shut down the interview, The Don aired a fusillade of grievances ranging from the corruption of the FBI, his love for Kanye West, his insistence there was no collusion with Russia and a chilling statement about how it might just be a matter of time before he seized control of the justice department.
He also weighed in on Cohen.
“He represents me (Cohen), like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me.”
That statement was in contradiction to his previous denial on Air Force One that he knew nothing about a payment of $130,00 to Stormy Daniels.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’s lawyer, called The Don’s admission a “gift from the heaven” and “hugely damaging as The Don’s statement suggested he was aware that Cohen had paid hush money to Daniels.
Thank you @foxandfriends for having Mr. Trump on this morning to discuss Michael Cohen and our case. Very informative.
The Don’s admission links him to payment of hush money to aid his campaign. That’s a no, no! And breaking news: His new legal counseling and attack dog, Rudy Giuiliani, in an attempt to make it clear to Fox News that there was no campaign finance chicanery, stated the The Don paid Michael Cohen back. Oops, another no, no!
Avenatti stated that “it is going to add considerable momentum to our efforts to depose the president and place him under oath, because now we have two contrary statements, made within the same month, relating to what he knew about the agreement, what he didn’t know, what his relationship was with Michael Cohen and we’re going to utilize that statement today to argue for his deposition.”
Deposing the Don: Now that is reality TV I can’t wait for!
Then, in an attempt to distance himself from Cohen, The Don got himself into more hot water by stating that Cohen only represented him in a “tiny, tiny, fraction of his work.” This statement (and total lie!) undercut Cohen’s argument that his communications with The Don, recently seized by the F.B.I., are protected by attorney-client privilege. In his desire to distance himself from Cohen, the Don actually made it easier for the prosecution.
Without missing a beat, U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of New York argued Thursday President Trump’s comments during a “Fox & Friends” appearance earlier in the day suggested most of the records seized in an FBI raid of his personal attorney’s office are unlikely to be protected by attorney-client privilege.
They say that the Michael Cohen investigation scares The Don more than the Mueller investigation. Let’s recap how well The Don’s lying is serving him. First he lied about knowing anything about Cohen’s pay off a Stormy Daniels; then he admitted Cohen was representing him. This contradiction increases the likelihood that he can be deposed by Avenati. And you can bet there will be plenty of lies told during that circus. Second, by saying Cohen barely represents him, he has given the prosecutors in the investigation more clout to examine Cohen’s seized records. And now, The Don has thrown Cohen under the bus by having the National Enquirer throw Cohen under the bus.
Cohen, who once said he would take a bullet for The Don, is now under attack by the man he adores and who has been a mentor to him. In true Don fashion, The Don will now do anything to besmirch Cohen and sully his credibility so that he will become a tarnished witness if he decides to flip.
So let’s flip a coin. Will he or won’t he flip?
If Cohen had any thoughts about protecting The Don, they have gone out the window. The man who has been a loyal servant is now the enemy. Cohen has two children who will be adults by the time he gets out of prison for his transgressions.
He is going to flip and The Don is flipping out. The Don’s lies about his ‘tiny” relationship with Cohen has backfired. As I said, The Don lives and dies by the lie. When the prosecutors examine the 16 electronic devices recovered in the raid of Cohen’s residences, the truth will be staring them on the screen. Hopefully, he will finally get his comeuppance for all the lying; in this case, hopefully he will die by his lies.
The historian Timothy Snyder stresses the importance of reality and truth in his cautionary pamphlet, “On Tyranny.” “To abandon facts,” he writes, “is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so.” He then chillingly observes, “Post-truth is pre-fascism.”