Scoot: Exposing the Trump lie about the border policy

June 21, 2018 - 11:01 am

All presidents lie, but that doesn’t make it right and when a sitting president lies.  It should be pointed out, talked about and highly criticized. 

In fact, the story we were all told when we were young in school was that our first president, George Washington, never told a lie.  His father saw a cherry tree cut down and approached young George and said, “George, did you chop down that cherry tree?”  To which George allegedly replied, “Father, I cannot tell a lie.  I did chop down the cherry tree.” 

And that was the example that was used to convince us that honorable people never lie.  The problem is that story was based on a lie.  George Washington did not cut down a cherry tree.  So the fable that was the glaring example of why we should always tell the truth was built on a lie.

If George Washington and the cherry tree story would have actually reflected the reality of politics, it would have unfolded this way.  George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and his father approached him and said, “George, did you chop down that cherry tree?” To which young George replied, “Dad, if I don’t lie - how will I ever get to be president?”

President Clinton lied about having a sexual encounter with Monica Lewinsky.  President George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. President Obama lied about keeping your doctors under Obamacare.  All presidents do it.  Actually, we all lie. 

But President Trump has turned lying into the standard operating procedure of the President of the United States.  What makes that a great threat to our democracy is the denials and the excuses used to either ignore the lie or justify the lie.

President Trump signing an executive order ending his administration’s new policy of separating children and parents at the border and the lies that proceeded that action are impossible to ignore by any patriotic American who still believes in the idea of honesty and accountability.

The lies told by more than one person representing President Trump were so prevalent in the days leading up to the signing of the executive order ending the policy that it is almost comical.  Almost.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted this Sunday:

The very next day, Secretary Nielsen was sent out to defend the Trump Administration’s policy of separating families at the border and Nielsen insisted that there was no new policy.

In an article published Tuesday on this point was made:  “Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pulled no punches on Monday when defending the Trump Administration’s controversial policy during a speech at a meeting of the National Sheriff’s Association.”  That meeting was held here in New Orleans.

Secretary Nielsen next appeared in front of reporters in the White House briefing room and continued to insist that there was no new policy and only Congress could stop the process of separating children from parents at the border.  Nielsen’s defiant defense of President Trump’s policy was flawed to the point of complete embarrassment.  The fact that the Trump administration did not create a new policy at the border is contradicted by the fact that on April 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a new zero-tolerance policy at the border.

Last Friday, President Trump stirred things up when he told reporters that his hands were tied and that only Congress could stop this.  It was an obvious attempt to pressure Congress to vote on an immigration bill that would include funding for his wall and a few other items the President was pushing.  Then, and only then, would the policy of separation end.  Essentially, President Trump ordered children separated from their parents to put political pressure on Congress.

And here is the reality that cannot and should not be ignored.  Following an A-list of Trump loyalists turning on the President and harshly condemning the action at the border, President Trump signed an executive order ending the policy of removing children from their parents.  With the stroke of a pen, President Trump did what he continually said he did not have the power to do and that is end his new policy. 

By signing the executive order, President Trump made his attorney general, his DHS secretary and conservative talk show hosts, like Rush Limbaugh, look like fools for parroting the Trump lie. 

Exposing this series of chronic lies about the border policy is particularly important because of the way President Trump handled the signing of the executive order.  The President actually boasted about how he had taken action to keep families together while securing the border.  Trump positioned himself as a hero; and he was applauded by many, including those who didn’t like the policy of separation but were too loyal to the President to do anything other than support the lie that only Congress could stop the policy.  This is an indisputable fact; President Trump always had the power to end the policy and finally did.

Reflecting the audacity and “we’re never wrong” mentality of the Administration, the night after her comical news conference, DHS Secretary Nielsen went to a Mexican restaurant in D.C.  She was heckled by others who had seen her dishonest news conference.  What part of going to a Mexican restaurant after what she said at the news conference sounded like a good idea?

Secretary Nielsen going to a Mexican restaurant after her support of separating parents and kids would be like President Truman going to a sushi restaurant right after ordering the bomb to be dropped on Japan. Or Hitler enjoying Matzoh ball soup at a kosher restaurant during the Holocaust.

The fact that past presidents have lied does not change the importance of calling out any sitting president for a lie so obvious.  Not saying something is an insult to the American people.


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