Donald Trump just can’t help it. He forces one of his people after another to go out there and blatantly lie in ridiculously transparent ways that he mistakenly thinks make him look good. These people are performing for an audience of one, of course. But even as they’re impressing Trump and satisfying his eternal narcissism, they’re also doing far more harm to his cause than good. Once again, these antics have blown up in his face in humiliating fashion.
By now you’re plenty familiar with the infamous press conference held this past week by Trump’s military doctor, which saw him make the incredible claim that Trump only weighs 239 pounds and that he’d somehow grown an inch taller. It was painfully obvious that Trump had coerced the doctor into lying about his weight. If the doctor had simply announced Trump’s true weight, which is probably closer to 270, his unhealthy obesity might have been a story for an hour or day before fading away. Instead, the absurdity of the lie made it a bigger story. It just got even worse.
We won’t spoil the punchlines for you in case you haven’t gotten to watch it yet, but tonight’s episode of Saturday Night Live opened with Trump’s military doctor holding a press conference. The central premise was how blatantly the doctor lied about Trump’s weight. So now, because Trump forced the doctor to lie, Trump’s weight has become such a dominant story that SNL opened the show with it.
Is Donald Trump’s weight relevant to his failing and illegitimate presidency? Not particularly. Should you care? Not nearly as much as you should care about his collapsing mental competence. But because Trump forced yet another underling to publicly praise him in dishonest and credibility-destroying fashion, the story he was trying to suppress is now bigger than ever.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report