Here is why I believe the gist of the Atlantic magazine article that President Donald Trump called American troops “losers,” “suckers” and much more: Trump denies it.
By now we have learned that Donald Trump is capable of lying. He does it all the time. About everything. His denials have gotten pretty meaningless, particularly when he uses terms like “fake news” or a “hoax,” or both. He usually responds on Twitter:
“You work so hard for the military, from completely rebuilding a depleted mess that was left by OBiden [sic], to fixing a broken V.A. and fighting for large scale military pay raises, and then a slime-ball reporter, maybe working with disgruntled people, makes up such a horrible charge.”
It should be pointed out that since becoming president Donald Trump has told more than 20,000 lies, as documented by fact checkers.
That’s also why I believe the accusations in Michael Cohen’s new book “Disloyal: A Memoir.” Cohen was Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, calling himself Trump’s “designated thug.” Cohen describes the president in the book as “a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.” Michael Cohen was imprisoned for various lies himself and was released to house arrest, so he’s not the most reliable of sources, he admits.
Donald Trump’s lying has become routine, and what’s that old saying ... “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”? What does it make the people he has lied to more than 20,000 times and still believe him and plan to vote for him again?
How about his performance in the COVID pandemic, where Trump has so frequently gone off on some misleading tangent that has resulted in the loss of so many Americans’ lives? It stated with his initial dismissal of the coronavirus and moved to his embrace of ineffective pharmaceuticals that he should have known were useless. It continues with his predictions that a vaccine “probably” will be created in October, which happens to be right before Election Day.
Ask yourself: Would you or your family take a vaccine that Trump and his pliant underlings have certified “safe and effective,” just before Election Day?
It would be interesting to see how Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger, would handle that very plausible scenario. Biden’s campaign mainly consists of waiting for Donald Trump to get caught in still another lie. Or say one more thing that is so outrageous that it turns off anyone who is not a mindless supporter.
Trump has now cast himself as the “law and order” candidate, backing law enforcement, opposing any reform and paying little attention to the complaints of minorities who are tired of this country’s empty promise for equality.
Back to the Atlantic magazine charges that he has disparaged members of the military. Trump’s denials include a promise to “swear on whatever” that he is telling the truth. How about swearing on that Bible he held up in June for a photo-op after clearing away peaceful protestors from near the White House so he could make his way to the church across the street?
He can swear on anything and most Americans won’t trust him. But he still has a chance of winning against Joe Biden, by hook or crook, mainly crook. As astounding as that may seem, believe it.
Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN; his opinions are his own.