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Trump's ticket to survival: Ban all the words

Dana Milbank on

Trump might also need to restrict use of the words "kickback" and "self-dealing" after Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., reversed himself and announced his support for the bill, just as it emerged that a provision had been added providing a bonanza to real estate investors such as ... Bob Corker.

Using the word ban to thwart the Russia probe is more problematic -- but doable. "Collusion" would need to be replaced by a more benign word, such as "cooperation." The name "Russia" could be jettisoned in favor of the friendlier-sounding "Canada" and the problematic phrase "obstruction of justice" replaced by the inoffensive phrase "presidential discretion." To be safe, Trump should ban "impeachment" in favor of "commendation." The worst-case headline for Trump becomes: "President Trump commended for using presidential discretion over cooperation with Canada."

Trump should probably ban the word "irony" after his attorneys argued that the ".gov" emails from his transition team are "private" property and not "official" -- even though Trump's defenders argued the opposite when defending Michael Flynn's Russia contacts during the transition as "official" and not "private."

There is no Trump problem a word ban wouldn't fix. Forbidding the phrases "rules of evidence" and "civil procedure" would prevent meddlesome senators from exposing Trump judicial nominees' lack of familiarity with what the elites call "law." Banning the word "credibility" could boost the reputation of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who proclaimed the "defeat of ISIS" on Sunday -- just after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said "don't believe" such claims.

And then there's poor Rex Tillerson, waiting quietly to be fired as secretary of state. He will need to have words such as "humiliation" and "defenestration" barred to protect his dignity.

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Or maybe Trump will inform the secretary of his dismissal simply by announcing he has banned two more words: "Rex Tillerson."

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Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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