Yesterday was another a big day for ‘Trump’ news.
It has been uncovered that shortly after taking office, Trump called the President of Mexico and begged him to stop publicly stating that Mexico will not pay for Trump’s, now infamous, border wall. The following day, Trump called the Prime Minister of Australia to discuss Trump desire not to honor a deal concerning the admittance of Syrian refugees from Australia. Trump is heard saying that he would blame the refusal on bad deal-making by Obama.
The full transcripts to both conversations can be found on The Washington Post’s website; they are an interesting study in presidential hypocrisy ‘a la Trump.’
The transcripts and the articles do an excellent job of portraying the ‘real’ Trump, a spin master and the ultimate conveyor of”fake news.” The media refers to this POTUS spin as the presentation of”alternative facts.” Fox News and many politicians are famously engaging in this practice; however, it is rare to catch a politician, in this case, POTUS, himself, admitting to it on tape. Trump, in these recorded conversations, admits doing it several times.
It is the job of the government and the media to be open and transparent with the American people. Citizens deserve the truth and fair play in a free society. I have recently written two books which emphasize how those with power prey on the less powerful and what an average citizen can do to protect or defend himself/herself. This is a common theme in my blogs and articles, as well. So, let’s analyze some of Trump’s comments and his fast and loose association with the truth. What do these”alternative facts” mean for you?
Here is Trump to Nieto (the Mexican President), regarding his plan for tariffs:
“…we put on a border tariff so that products coming in from Mexico to the United States would be taxed at a rate to be determined. But you know, it could be 10 percent or 15 percent or it could be 35 percent for some products that…if Mexico adds a tax, we will add a tax…But if we cannot work a deal, I want to tell you we are going to put a very substantial tax on the border coming into the United States…”
Translation? The additional costs resulting from these tariffs will increase the cost of imported Mexican goods that we buy in American stores. American consumers will pay significantly higher prices for goods coming out of Mexico. Products that you and I buy, every day, will sharply increase in price to compensate for Trump’s tax plan.
Trump to Nieto, regarding the ‘border wall’:
“But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to…They are going to say, ‘who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?’ to both of us, and we should both say, ‘we will work it out.’ It will work out in the formula somehow…I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay. But you cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall.”
Are you following this? Trump is demanding that Nieto stop saying that Mexico will not pay of the wall, even if that statement is true.”We will work it out” is code for”Mexico is not going to pay for the wall.”Trump doesn’t care whether Mexico pays or not; he only cares that the American people believe that Mexico is paying for it. Trump’s official statement that”it will come out in the wash and that is okay” is code for”the American people will be taxed to pay for my unaffordable, ill-advised, wall.”
A conversation between Trump and Turnbull (Prime Minister of Australia):
Trump: …Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people…
Turnbull: The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees…They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.
Trump: …I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it…I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad…The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?
Turnbull: That is the point I have been trying to make…we assume that we will act in good faith.
Does this sound like “good faith?” I’m rather surprised at Turnbull, but we all know, by now, that “good faith” is not exactly a “Trumpian” quality. Let’s dissect the president’s words: Aside from the fact that he can’t grasp the exact numbers cited in the agreement, here is a translation of what he said: “The humanitarian admission of peaceable refugees into the United States must be ‘blamed’ on Obama because I promised a ‘ban.’ If I don’t blame Obama then I will look stupid for letting these innocent immigrants into the country.” Crowing about a ‘ban’ in the first place, with this agreement already in place, demonstrates that POTUS failed to study foreign affairs before opening his mouth about a ban on Muslim immigration. He also issues a rather blunt threat that he might ignore the “full” agreement with Australia.
Here are some ‘real’ facts:
We now have a president who thinks that the investigation into Russian interference in our election is an investigation to delegitimize his victory. He cannot understand, nor does he care about the potential threat to our democracy. Mr. President: You won. I admit it. That is not the reason for the investigation. If you did nothing wrong, you should be the first in line to get to the bottom of whether there are traitors on your team. Your constant “witch hunt” and “fake news” comments are counter-productive and harmful to our democracy.
We now have a president who is willing to lie and attempt to conspire with other foreign leaders to be less than truthful about foreign affairs. Mr. President, I’m sorry if this is embarrassing for you, but the ‘wall’ will not be paid for by Mexico and there can be no blanket ‘ban’ on all Muslim immigration.
We now have a president who berates, insults and bullies those who have the audacity to disagree with him. Gee, and I thought rational thought and healthy discourse was a strength in a democracy.
We now have a commander in chief who informs service men and women that the country will only value or applaud their service and/or bravery if they have not changed their gender.
We now have a president who doesn’t understand the meaning of “obstruction of justice.”
We now have a president who doesn’t understand what ‘police brutality’ is, what ‘innocent until proven guilty’ means, and the rights that are afforded all of us under the United States Constitution.
We now have a president whose subordinates counsel reporters (and the public) to ignore the words that are engraved upon the Statute of Liberty.
Obviously, there are many more examples of the type of president that we now have. It has only been six months; there is time for him to come to the light. He can still choose to be the president of all of us, rather than the president of a chosen few. He can still be a positive example for justice rather than the ultimate bully for injustice. Does anybody think that’s possible?
Mark Bello has practiced law for 40 years. He is currently the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company. “Betrayal of Faith” is currently available on major online bookstore sites. His latest legal and political thriller, “Betrayal of Justice,” is scheduled for release late summer, early fall. For more information on its release, future updates, and associated activities and events, please join our mailing list.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.