It’s not news that Donald Trump has been caught lying; various fact checkers have confirmed that he lies so often, he makes regular politicians look honest in comparison. What does stand out, however, is how blatantly Trump and his team are flat out lying about hurricane relief efforts, in ways that can be easily disproven. First there were the lies about Hurricane Harvey, and now there are the lies about Hurricane Irma.
Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert briefed the media today and proudly boasted that the Trump administration’s response to Irma included the “first ever” use of an aircraft carrier to provide hurricane relief. Of course that’s flatly untrue, as the George W. Bush administration used an aircraft carrier to provide relief for Hurricane Katrina. We attribute this lie directly to Donald Trump himself, as it’s long been established that no one in the Trump administration says anything in a press conference without Trump first having told them what to say.
Some may want to give Trump and his team the benefit of the doubt here. Perhaps it wasn’t an intentional lie, and they were merely mistaken about the aircraft carrier. The trouble is that it’s difficult to give Trump the benefit of the doubt when he just got finished lying about his Hurricane Harvey relief. Trump’s administration falsely claimed that it had sent 6,300 troops to help with Harvey, but after being caught lying, it later had to admit that it only sent around 1,600 troops.
The Pentagon went on to claim that it was an honest oversight. But the military doesn’t make these kinds of mistakes. These are simply lies, coming from a lying Donald Trump urging his staff to lie in a way that makes him look good. Even when Bush thoroughly and shamefully flubbed his Katrina response, he didn’t try to cover for it by inventing imaginary firsts, or by lying about how many troops he’d sent.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report