Donald Trump’s televised bipartisan meeting yesterday might have been intended to prove his mental acuity and stability but at least one of his exchanges with a top Democratic Senator indicates that is all just a smokescreen – and Trump’s team knows that.
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At one point Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) asked Trump if he would agree to a clean DACA bill, meaning passing a law separate from the budget negotiations to ensure that thousands of “Dreamers” can remain in the U.S. legally.
Trump in the past has been against a DACA bill or at best has been ambivalent. Republicans have said they would only do that if it was part of a deal to pass the budget and get funding for Trump’s expensive wall along the Mexican border.
However in answer to Feinstein asking if he would be agreeable to that, the president replied, “Yeah I would like that – I would like to do that.”
Yet later when the White House released a transcript of the meeting, Trump’s response to Feinstein on DACA was not there.
It was only after reporters complained to the White House press office a corrected transcript appeared – some 17 hours later, notes Shareblue.
You can imagine how horrified the White House senior staff was when Trump seemed to not know or even understand their position on DACA, which immediately raised new questions about his mental capabilities.
Trump’s line agreeing (momentarily) with Sen. Feinstein on a clean DACA bill — “Yeah, I would like to do it” — is missing from official White House transcript https://t.co/pwd21lqJDx?amp=1
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) January 10, 2018
This is not the first time that White House transcripts have been altered to save the president from embarrassment. In some cases, it has been minor and other times major.
For instance, on Air Force One, Trump told reporters he may have been told about the June 2016 meeting his son Donald Jr. and others had with Russian agents, adding that he wasn’t aware of what it was about, reported the New York Times.
When the transcript came out, that was missing.
Among pts WH omitted, per pool: Trump said of Jr mtg "In fact maybe it was mentioned at some point" but he wasn't told it was abt HRC & dirt
— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) July 13, 2017
Trump has never been forced to explain why that disappeared but Shareblue suggests it is something that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will want to know when he finally gets to question Trump.
During that same meeting with a gaggle of reporters on his plane, Trump also made remarks about DACA that also were not in the transcript, even though they had already been reported to the public.
For a president who constantly attacks the media for not reporting the truth, or at least Trump’s version of the truth, the alteration of official White House transcripts suggests that it is the administration and this president who are making up alternative facts.
These incidents also suggest that even as Trump tries to show the public that he is smart, sharp and on the ball, he is not – and the more he talks the worse it gets.
It’s no wonder Trump has had fewer official press conferences than any president in modern history. His aides fear what will come out of his mouth next that will prove he is a loose cannon with a sketchy memory and unfit to hold such a high and powerful office.