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Politics

Trump’s Lovely Lies

KATHLEEN PARKER on

WASHINGTON -- In this season of Thanksgiving, a quirky source of gratitude has emerged -- Donald Trump’s many campaign lies.

What else can one call the promises that he now treats as alien concepts? Almost daily, he reverses himself on a campaign promise, confirming what this column predicted: He would never keep his vows.

As a matter of practicality, Trump couldn’t do much of what he bragged about, such as build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. Now he’s talking fences.

Likewise, it isn’t the prerogative of the executive office to investigate, prosecute or jail Hillary Clinton, whom he now says he doesn’t plan to investigate because he doesn’t want to hurt the Clintons.

Similarly, Trump apparently no longer thinks that climate change is a Chinese hoax and is “open-minded” toward future discussions. When Marine Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s apparent choice for defense secretary, told the president-elect that he could get more information from a prisoner with a couple of beers and a cigarette than by waterboarding, Trump said, fine, he will rethink waterboarding.

If Trump has never been burdened by the truth, he at least has been true to his core value, which is say or do whatever it takes to win. And for him, what worked were lies. Or at least untruths.

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What does seem true is that he never had any interest in governing, as evidenced by his reportedly being surprised to learn he had to replace so many White House staffers. Who knew?

Early on, Trump told us as much when he couldn’t really put a finger on why he wanted to be president. In a wide-ranging interview last April with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, he wandered around the barn for several minutes looking for an answer, checking the sky for the Trump chopper to swoop down in a reverse deus ex machina to rescue him from this daunting question: “Can you isolate a moment when it kicked to yes?”

Not right off, no, he couldn’t.

First, it was the escalator ride, looking down on all those cameras, comparing the moment to the Academy Awards. Had the cameras not arrived, would Trump have returned to his office and forgotten all about it? Next, he talked about his TV show, his money, his children, hitting any topic that came to mind, circling, circling, searching for that dadgum moment. Woodward pressed on.

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