Donald Trump just keeps insisting that U.S. Senator Thad Cochran is in the hospital, no matter how many public statements Cochran puts out confirming that he’s definitely not in the hospital. It’s turned into one of the more bizarre incidents of the Trump era, which is saying something. Today the whole thing managed to get even stranger.
It all started on Wednesday, when Trump semi-coherently tweeted “With one Yes vote in hospital & very positive signs from Alaska and two others (McCain is out), we have the HCare Vote, but not for Friday!” Who was this Yes vote in the hospital, and what was Trump even talking about? It turned out Trump was referring to Thad Cochran of Mississippi. We know this because after Trump went on to state six times during the course of the day that Cochran was in the hospital, Cochran had to make the surreal move of tweeting “Thanks for the well-wishes. I’m not hospitalized.” But it got even stranger.
Even after Senator Cochran had publicly confirmed that he wasn’t in the hospital, Trump appeared on Fox & Friends on Thursday morning and once again insisted that Cochran was “in the hospital.” This prompted Cochran to release a formal statement on Thursday afternoon confirming once again that he was not in the hospital (link). So what in hell is even going on here?
Donald Trump is clinging to the notion that he somehow only lost the Graham-Cassidy health care battle because Senator Thad Cochran, who was a “yes” vote, was in the hospital. The real story was that while Cochran was indeed back in Mississippi recovering from a medical issue, he’s been at his own home the entire time Trump has been insisting he’s hospitalized. It’s unclear if Trump is just that confused about what’s really going on, or if he’s just that willing to lie about a man being in the hospital.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report