Perusing Donald Trump’s interview with Time magazine made me think of something Harrison Ford was reputed to have told George Lucas during the filming of Star Wars. “George,” he said, exasperated with yet another line of wooden dialogue, “you can type this sh-t, but you can’t say it!” With Trump, though, it goes in reverse. He easily wraps a crowd around his finger with the way he talks, but when you write it down–well, the results read something like a cross between Bob Dylan lyrics and one of those existential passages from Waiting for Godot. One can understand why Twitter is his chosen medium.
Still, it’s fairly interesting stuff, as it touches on what reporters think is Trump’s tenuous relationship with the truth. How exactly they can justify giving him such a hard time after running cover for Barack Obama during the eight long years of his presidency remains unsaid, but I think we can all acknowledge that the Donald has been known to stretch the bounds of credulity from time to time. I won’t make excuses for that, except when it comes to his dealings with the news media (Trump’s trolling of them is just too damned entertaining). When it comes to everthing else, however, a higher standard is definitely in order.
For instance, there’s this bit as to whether Trump regrets that awful business tying Ted Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald in he heat of the primary campaign:
Well that was in a newspaper. No, no, I like Ted Cruz, he’s a friend of mine. But that was in the newspaper. I wasn’t, I didn’t say that. I was referring to a newspaper. A Ted Cruz article referred to a newspaper story with, had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald, having breakfast.
Interviewer: That gets close to the heart…
Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano, I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier, I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.
This is a cop-out of the highest order. “Quoting” a newspaper (which was the National Enquirer, by the way) that prints a wholly unsubstantiated rumor and then shrugging it off in a way that says, Who knows if it’s true? amounts to spreading the rumor yourself. Or, to put it in a way that Trump understands on a very personal level, it’s the same stunt CNN pulled when it “reported” on the Buzzfeed story that had him hiring Russian hookers to play the tinkle game on Barack Obama’s bed.
Using the CNN defense? Kind of a d-ck move, bro.
Especially when you’re doing it to a friend–not to mention a guy you’re going to need to help your agenda through the Senate. Now, I’m not a big fan of public apologies, because most of the time your political enemies will just smell blood in the water and use them as a way to rip you apart. But in this case, I’d advise ordering a little slice of the humble pie.