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Let's not use euphemisms for conduct unbecoming a president

By Robert B. Reich, Tribune Content Agency on

Baloney. They're lies, plain and simple.

Early last year, the Wall Street Journal's editor-in-chief insisted that the Journal wouldn't label Trump's false statements as "lies." Lying, said the editor, requires a deliberate intention to mislead, which couldn't be proven in Trump's case.

Wrong. Normal presidents may exaggerate; some occasionally lie. But Trump has taken lying to an entirely new level. He lies like other people breathe. Almost nothing that comes out of his mouth can be assumed to be true.

For Trump, lying is part of his overall strategy, his M.O. and his pathology. Not to call them lies, or to not deem him a liar, is itself misleading.

4. Referring to Trump's and his aides' possible "cooperation" or "coordination" with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.

This won't do. "Cooperation" and "coordination" sound as if Trump and his campaign assistants were merely being polite to the Russians, engaged in a kind of innocent parallel play.

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But nothing about what we've seen and heard so far suggests politeness or innocence. "Collusion" is the proper word, suggesting complicity in a conspiracy.

If true -- if Trump or his aides did collude with the Russians to throw the election his way -- they were engaged in treason, another important word that rarely appears in news reports.

5. Calling Trump and Paul Ryan's next move "welfare reform," as in, "Trump has suggested more than once that welfare reform might be the next big legislative item on his agenda."

Rubbish. They're not going after "welfare." Welfare -- federal public assistance to the poor -- was gutted in 1996. Trump and Ryan are aiming at Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

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