Trump’s spokeswoman just gave the worst explanation for his Japanese “bowling ball” tale


Today, professional liar and current White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was forced to respond to the latest round of absurdities to come spewing out of our unhinged president’s mouth. True to character, Huckabee Sanders deployed her usual arsenal of misdirection, hedging, and outright dishonesty.

Huckabee Sanders was confronted about Trump’s preposterous and coded racist assertion that Japan sneakily cheats the United States in trade by dropping bowling balls on American cars imported to the island nation. The cars — so Trump claims — are then damaged and deemed unworthy to enter Japan.

There seems to be no truth whatsoever to the story, and it appears that the president may have just made it up to reinforce his rhetoric that America is getting “treated very unfairly” all around the world.

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“It’s called the bowling ball test; do you know what that is? That’s where they take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and they drop it on the hood of the car. And if the hood dents, then the car doesn’t qualify. Well, guess what, the roof dented a little bit, and they said, nope, this car doesn’t qualify. It’s horrible, the way we’re treated. It’s horrible,” Trump said at a fundraising dinner.

A reporter asked Huckabee Sanders about the “bowling ball test” and stated that he worked in Japan for twenty years, covered the automotive industry, and “didn’t recall” anything resembling Trump’s cartoonish test, nor did anyone the reporter spoke to in the industry know of such a test.

Huckabee Sanders avoided answering the question at first by rambling on about how Trump has been speaking about unfair trade practices for decades. She appeared to be reading from a prewritten statement, indicating that the White House knew they were going to be challenged on Trump’s ridiculous bowling ball fabrication.

She then claimed that the president was simply “joking” and that the bowling ball lie was a means of illustrating the way in which American goods are kept out of foreign markets.


To be clear, there doesn’t seem to be any real indication that Trump was joking. It seems most likely that he was simply lying as he often does, and rather than admit that fact his administration has decided to shamelessly play it off as a joke.


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Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.