One striking component of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday was his willingness to state straightforwardly a fact that is already obvious: our president is a liar.
In the particular instance, Comey took exception to President Trump's characterization of the FBI as an agency "in disarray, that it was poorly led," one of several reasons that Trump gave for firing Comey.
This is a serious charge that shouldn't be made without evidence; evidently there is none. In fact, Trump's criticism of Comey's leadership was contradicted emphatically by recent testimony before the same committee by FBI acting director Andrew McCabe.
With refreshing candor, Comey called Trump's assertions "lies, plain and simple." In addition, Comey said that he felt compelled to meticulously and immediately render his conversations with Trump in writing, for fear that Trump might lie about them later.
Of course, Trump wouldn't be the first president to lie. Thursday's testimony before the committee reminded me of Eric Alterman's 2004 book "When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and its Consequences."
The book is only 447 pages long, so Alterman has to limit his history of presidential lying to Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. He doesn't have room to discuss the great fabulator Richard Nixon or the petty prevaricator Bill Clinton.
Or George Washington. Ron Chernow's 2010 biography of Washington pictures him as an honest and principled man. However, he never chopped down a cherry tree or uttered the famous "I cannot tell a lie."
And he could indeed tell a lie. When the nation's capital made a decade-long sojourn in Philadelphia before moving to Washington, D.C., our first president encountered the inconvenient circumstance that Pennsylvania law held that any slave who resided in the state for six consecutive months would automatically be freed.
Thus Washington contrived with wife Martha and others to ensure that some of his most valuable slaves made regular brief excursions back to Mount Vernon to circumvent Pennsylvania's six-month rule.
This ruse had to be kept secret. Washington wrote to his friend Tobias Lear: "I wish to have it accomplished under pretext that may deceive both them (i.e., the slaves) and the public."
But all of these presidential liars lied with a purpose, strategic or tactical, and none of them -- with the possible exception of Richard Nixon -- lost touch with reality.
Trump's lying seems cut from different cloth. In fact, I'm not the first to note that he may not be lying, at all; he may actually believe much of what he says. And once a liar can no longer recognize or has lost interest in facts, is it even possible to lie?
It's an interesting distinction, but the nation has more important things to worry about. It's dangerous to have a president who is unable or unwilling to acknowledge facts that don't mesh with what he would like to believe.
We could illustrate this in a number of ways, but Trump's recent withdrawal from the Paris climate accords is a good example. A great deal of his rationale for withdrawing is clearly, unequivocally and demonstrably false. And yet his decision causes considerable harm with no compensating gain, squandering a great deal of American global leadership.
Certainly some Americans believe that this version of circumstances is overstated. But after five months, the Trump administration shows no signs of achieving any sort of healthy normality.
At this point Trump is unlikely to rearrange his own chaotic mental landscape. His lying is merely a symptom of a dangerous disconnection from reality.
From above:..a fact that is already obvious: our president is a liar......
From:..washingtontimes.com...12 June 2017...The word “Hypocrisy” was invented for such moments... The left is suddenly aghast about lying, but was fine with Barack Obama’s numerous lies, from “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” to Benghazi, “Fast and Furious,” the “red line” in Syria and the list goes on... Let’s not even get started with the Clintons. They’re "SERIAL LIARS".... Media reaction swiftly followed Mr. Comey’s testimony... The New York Times and The Washington Post seemed to favor Mr. Comey.... A Wall Street Journal editorial even said Mr. Comey “should have resigned if he believes what he now says.”... Charles Hurt, editorial page editor of the conservative Washington Times, summarized his view of Mr. Comey’s testimony: “The only verified leaker exposed: Jim Comey... The only person we know is "Not and Never Was" under investigation for ties to Russia:..Donald Trump.... The only person exposed for trying to influence an election: [Obama attorney general] Loretta Lynch.... The only paper accused of publishing fake news: The New York Times.... The only person who attempted to obstruct justice: Loretta Lynch and probably Bill Clinton.”.... Even the reliably liberal Chris Matthews of MSNBC said: “The assumption of the critics of the president, of his pursuers, you might say, is that somewhere along the line in the last year the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians … to affect the election in some way.... And yet what came apart this morning, was, that theory.”...... Democrats have nothing, other than more of the same failed policies, which have contributed to their recent election losses.... They are banking on Undermining the president by Accusation and Insinuation..... The major media — whichMr. Trumpregard as the mother of all liars — are in bed with his Democratic critics, while dismissing the "LIES"of Democrats past and present.... And that’s "NO LIE".... *** P.S. According to, 8 CFR 600.7 : (d)The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General.... The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, "Conflict of Interest", or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.... The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal..... *** All Trump has to do is say the word to Sessions,, and Mueller will be gone... Trump could PARDON Flynn and any others if he wanted to......
Fact checks that show things the President has said are not true are labeled as "fake news" and you have to believe that he thinks we all buy it.
Making America GREAT again by going around the table at a Cabinet meeting and having everyone praise him. I have never seen anything more awkward and kind of felt sorry for the whole group of them.
Now he is considering firing the Special Counsel (which he can not legally do). Anyone investigating the ties to Russia he looks to get rid of.
All of the above kind of reminds one of how things are done in a dictatorship.