Last night, The Washington Post broke the stunning story that President Trump bragged during a fundraising speech that he had lied to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting with the leader of our close ally.
Trump claims he told him that the United States runs a trade deficit with Canada, despite the fact that Trump had no idea at the time if it were true or not. Reportedly, Trump also mimicked the Prime Minister during his shameful performance at the fundraiser.
The Post obtained audio recordings of the speech. Trump stated that Trudeau told him there was no trade deficit. Trump described his response:
“… I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’ I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, ‘Check, because I can’t believe it.’”
The admission offers a startlingly candid glimpse into the muddled, mendacious mind of our commander-in-chief. It’s long been clear that Trump has an adversarial relationship with reality. Now, it’s been made painfully clear how cavalier he is towards running the most powerful country in the world.
Our leader thinks he can just make things up on the spot and wing it as if the world isn’t an incredibly complex ecosystem that must be managed with careful attention to facts and details. It’s an incredibly dangerous approach to the presidency.
In reality, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative clearly states that the U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada. At this point though, it’s not surprising that Trump would blatantly lie to a world leader. He lies pathologically, numerous times a day, sometimes for no other reason than that he seems to get joy out of it. What is surprising is that he would openly brag about the lie. Usually, he refuses to give up an inch on even his most absurd claims.
It appears that perhaps Trump didn’t expect his braggadocious story to leak because now he’s trying to backtrack. This morning, he took to Twitter to double down on his original lie to Trudeau, by insisting that the United States does have a trade deficit with Canada, despite the fact that all evidence refutes his statement.
Trump stated that Trudeau “doesn’t like” admitting that Canada has a trade surplus with the U.S. but “they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know.”
The last bit of the tweet is especially hard to interpret. It feels almost like a non sequitur. It’s unclear from the sentences that precede “…and that’s how I know” that he knows anything at all. He doesn’t back up his erroneous trade claim with any facts or figures. At best it’s a tautology, with Trump claiming he knows something simply because he knows it.
The other disgraceful wrinkle to the tweet is that Trump went from bragging about lying to Trudeau, to accusing Trudeau himself of lying by saying the Prime Minister “doesn’t like saying” the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada, implying that Trudeau lied to Trump.
Once again, President Trump has humiliated the United States.
We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018