Trump’s Defense of His Lies: ‘I’m President and You’re Not’

Trump’s Defense of His Lies: ‘I’m President and You’re Not’

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Donald Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It is remarkable — and perhaps praiseworthy — that Donald Trump gave a long and detailed interview on the subject of his being a pathological liar. The interview, with Time’s Michael Scherer, covers a wide range of Trump’s lies, and features many of his own justifications for them. The truly revealing moment of the interview comes at the end, when Trump gives up the game. “But isn’t there, it strikes me there is still an issue of credibility,” asks Scherer, referencing Trump’s hallucinatory claims to have been surveilled by his predecessor, which his own intelligence officials have refuted. Trump rambles through various talking points, and lands on this conclusion: “I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”

This small line is an important historical marker of the bizarre and disconcerting reality into which American politics has plunged. Trump is not merely making an attack on truth here. He is attacking the idea of truth. His statement is a frontal challenge to the notion that objective reality can be separated from power.

Trump and his officials have been dancing around this notion since November. When challenged on almost any of their lies, they point to the election, which proves that the credibility of the crooked Fake News media is nonexistent, and theirs is beyond reproach. Questions about veracity are met with responses about voting in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Trump made the argument explicit: The only measure of his veracity is power, which he has, and his critics do not.

I once suggested that Trump’s most anti-democratic quality is his authoritarian epistemology. He tells repeated, brazen lies about matters large and small, in the confidence that his supporters have surrendered all independent judgment to him. That is not a democratic relationship between elected official and policy.

A brief reminder that the fight against The Maniac is not nearly over!

 

The New Yorker

The Trump Tower Baku never opened. Trump partnered with an Azerbaijani family that U.S. officials called notoriously unethical.

A Reporter at Large|March 13, 2017

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Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

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From the Reporter’s Desk

For my story in this week’s magazine, I spent nine days reporting in Azerbaijan, where the government is famous for conducting surveillance on journalists. A reporter who had worked in the country told me to assume that the government was eavesdropping on all of my conversations and would likely place cameras in my hotel room. A few years ago, security services installed a camera in the bedroom of the Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, and released video of her in an intimate act with a boyfriend.

 



My wife and I came up with code words so I could let her know if she needed to call the U.S. Embassy or my editor. I left my iPhone at home. In Azerbaijan, I got two cell phones. One was officially registered to me; the other was purchased for me by a local contact. I turned off the official phone and took out the battery when I visited sources, because I had heard that the intelligence service would likely track my movements through my phone. I had oddly polite conversations with my wife every day. I used the encrypted app Signal to send messages and make calls.

 



When I met Ismayilova, who has spent time in jail and been monitored by the government for many years, I explained all my precautions. She laughed. She said she doesn’t bother anymore. I was relieved, because I realized that when I went to her house I had forgotten to take precautions, and had left the battery in my official phone. –Adam Davidson

ILLUSTRATION BY TOM BACHTELLIllustration by Tom Bachtell
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Charmed Life at #30 this week

Allen Kepler is a real mover and shaker in the biz and his radio network and weekly playlist is an industry benchmark!
 
Although I have had a half dozen Billboard Top 20's, now only with my current Billboard charting track Charmed Life (feat Bob Baldwin), have I joined Allen's illustrious ranks- thanks Allen W Kepler for Keeping the Drive Alive! 
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Charmed Life on Billboard at #19 after 13 weeks - and still rising!

My svelte and funky track Charmed Life (feat. Bob Baldwin) is still moving up the charts after 13 weeks, #19 on Billboard, and debuted on MediaBase at #38!

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