Did Trump say “S…holes” or some variation (e.g “houses”) at that ….meeting? We have two Republican Senators who now say he did not, Tom Cotton and David Perdue, after initially saying they couldn’t recall, and Republican Lindsay Graham and Democrat Dick Durbin saying he did say those things, so someone is clearly lying.
You may well be thinking what is one more lie among Trump’s ever growing galaxy of fabrications. I say once in awhile we should pin one down for it will likely have future implications. With a government shutdown pending and both parties blaming the other, it seems important to pin down what happened at that meeting and who is lying about it.
A New York Times piece today described that meeting well, so I ask you to go to that link to get a fuller picture, but not quite yet.
Here are two reasons to believe Graham and Durbin. For one, Graham has tried hard to stay on Trump’s good side (including some games of golf) so they could work together, while maintaining some integrity in the process, meaning he will criticize Trump but he tries not to trash him.
That tight rope walking left him at first both supporting Durbin while not exactly accusing Trump of those words, until Perdue and Cotton suddenly located their memories in time for talk shows last Sunday where they were sure the “holes” word was not used. Their lies were too much for Graham to take, so he came out with stronger words backing Durbin.
My point being, Graham didn’t want this to happen, but after working on a compromise with Durbin that Trump seemed to like, he just wasn’t going to roll over for the president and the party when it was so clear to him who was lying.
Here’s a second reason to believe Graham and Durbin: At that Senate hearing Tuesday, homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen actually claimed she did not know whether Norway was predominantly white, in response to a question referring to Trump’s racial bias. Huh?
That prompted another Senator to question Nielsen’s competence for the job and for Stephen Colbert to make a joke about it, her Nordic name making the ignorance particularly odd. But I watched her prior to that and she looked quite capable to me until she started dodging questions as to what was said at that meeting which she attended (“I can’t recall….there was a lot of tough language used from both sides”….never giving exact words she heard).
I say she was in such a CYA mode trying to shield the president that she responded to the Norway question as if it were a trick. So the safest answer that second was “I don’t know”. Dumb as it seems now and proof she was hiding her real knowledge of the meeting.
My point in all of this is the shut down we will soon face could have been avoided had this meeting not devolved into the sewer (to maintain a theme). So, it matters who is telling the truth about the meeting when it comes to the blame game.
In a televised meeting of Congressional leaders the Tuesday before the “holes” meeting Trump acted as if he welcomed the idea of more money for border security in exchange for legalizing the “dreamers” (so many warm feelings I was expecting hand holding and Kumbaya to burst forth), but by meeting time Thursday Trump’s mind frame totally changed, undoubtedly from negative reactions from his base. Cotton and Perdue, hardliners on immigration, were obviously there to prevent Trump from flipping back to flop.
The seeds for a shut down were sewed in that meeting and Trump, Cotton and Perdue planted them.
P. S. NEWS FLASH: Senate Minority Chuck Schumer is at the White House (10:35 a.m. Pacific Time) in what is reported as a one to one talk with Trump. Could the two New Yorkers forge some kind of last minute deal to keep the government open? It’s a matter of which Trump wants less, to have a government shut down marring the celebration of his first year as president in Florida this weekend, or to have the base that he continuously courts unhappy with some kind of compromise.