The Corner

Culture

A Separate Question: Veracity

Many people have said that President Trump’s remarks about Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough were inappropriate — unpresidential, unnecessary, unkind, etc. But here is a separate question: Were they true?

Another question: Does it matter?

Governor (and Pastor) Mike Huckabee says that Trump has “made it clear”: If you hit him, he will “hit you back ten times harder.” Huckabee’s daughter, Trump’s spokeswoman, says that “this is a president who fights fire with fire.”

Okay. Is his fire true?

The president says that “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and “Psycho Joe” “came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me.” Brzezinski and Scarborough tell a different story. In a column for the Washington Post, they write,

The president-elect invited us both to dinner on Dec. 30. Joe attended because Mika did not want to go. After listening to the president-elect talk about his foreign policy plans, Joe was asked by a disappointed Mr. Trump the next day if Mika could also visit Mar-a-Lago that night. She reluctantly agreed to go. After we arrived, the president-elect pulled us into his family’s living quarters with his wife, Melania, where we had a pleasant conversation. We politely declined his repeated invitations to attend a New Year’s Eve party, and we were back in our car within 15 minutes.

Which version is true?

About Brzezinski, the president wrote, “She was bleeding badly from a face-lift.” In their column, the couple writes, “That is also a lie.” They continue,

Putting aside Mr. Trump’s never-ending obsession with women’s blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal. And though it is no one’s business, the president’s petulant personal attack against yet another woman’s looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift. If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching “Morning Joe” on their high-definition TV. She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact.

Think back to Trump and Comey — James Comey, whom Trump fired as director of the FBI. Trump says that Comey requested to have dinner with him, to plead for his job. Comey says this is nonsense: that the president invited him to dinner, and that he (Comey) reluctantly accepted.

Who is telling the truth?

One more thing — from years ago. Trump was ticked at a writer, Tim O’Brien. In his pique, he claimed that O’Brien had tried to get him to autograph a book for his mother. O’Brien responded that his mom had been dead for about a decade. Trump simply sailed on. (NR’s Ian Tuttle wrote about Trump and O’Brien here.)

Does it matter whether the president tells the truth? Or simply that he “fights”? That he “hits back ten times harder” and all that? That we even have to ask the question says a lot about our politics, and our culture, today.

Most Popular

Religion

The Catholic Church’s Rotherham

‘We are deeply saddened.” So begin the many perfunctory statements of many Catholic bishops today in response to the Pennsylvania grand-jury report detailing how priests in that state abused children and how bishops shuffled these priests around. What deeply saddens these men? The rape of children, the ... Read More
Education

The Deflation of the Academic Brand

Trumpism is sometimes derided as an updated know-nothingism that rejects expertise and the input of credentialed expertise. Supposedly, professionals who could now save us tragically have their talent untapped as they sit idle at the Council on Foreign Relations, the economics Department at Harvard, or in the ... Read More
Elections

My Journey into the Heart of Obama-Trump Country

After eight years of displeasure with Barack Obama’s presidency, Carla Johnson was ready for a drastic change. The 41-year-old lab technician from Cresco, Iowa, fell for Donald Trump very early in the 2016 primary season. She loved his “take-no-[sh**]” style, his conservative stances on gun control and ... Read More