Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the White House lawn, October 8, 2018
Administration officials scramble to turn Donald Trump’s pre-election lies into “reality”.
Trump has put off more than 5,000 falsehoods or distorted statements in his 21 months in the Presidency, according to the Washington Post Fact Checker. Both the number and the scale have surged before the November 6 Congressional contests, as Trump and the GOP try to win with an anti-immigrant line — which some say includes racism — and the depiction of Democrats whipping up “mobs” in America.
Last weekend Trump told reporters that middle-income Americans will receive a 10% tax cut before the elections — an apparent response to Republican concerns that many voters have seen no benefit from the $1.5 trillion tax changes in December 2017, which largely favored the wealthy.
But there is no possibility of another tax cut in the next two weeks, as Congress is out of session.
Administration officials, caught off guard by the staetment, are now discussing a symbolic nonbinding “resolution”. The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady said Tuesday that he will work with the White House and the Treasury Department to develop a plan “over the coming weeks”.
On Monday, Trump stepped up the pre-election propaganda over a caravan of about 7,000 would-be Central American immigrants, many seeking asylum, moving through Mexico towards the US. Implying a terrorist threat, he tweeted that “unknown Middle Easterners” are among the group.
There is no support for the claim, but the White House, Vice President Mike Pence, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House rushed to give cover. Pence said it is “inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border”. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump “absolutely” has evidence, but could only cite a statistic that each day 10 suspected or known terrorists try to enter the US illegally.
Trump blew up the effort later Tuesday when he admitted, “There’s no proof of anything”, then trying to save himself, “But there could very well be.”
Trump’s previous off-the-cuff distortions have pushed the Administration and US military into announcing a “Space Force” and the Commerce Department to consider the possibility of auto tariffs against American allies.