Morning Briefing: Donald Trump Is Shamelessly Gas-lighting America Again
The term gas-lighting has been around forever, obviously, and the media began using it a lot during Trump’s campaign for President and then as part of the MeToo movement. It wasn’t until then that I truly began to understand what the term means: A form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.
That basically describes the last few days of the Trump presidency, right? Last week, Trump called Haiti, El Salvador, and other African countries “shitholes,” and everyone in the room heard him, but then not only has Trump spent the last few days denying he said that, he’s convinced two Republican Senators to go on the record also denying it.
What are you thinking if you’re Senator Dick Durbin, who called out Trump for his shithole comments? I mean, 95 percent of you is probably saying, “Trump is completely full of shit and he’s obviously lying,” but also, “Maybe he didn’t say shithole? Am I misremembering? Have I gone crazy? What is going on?! Why aren’t any of the other many Republican Senators in that room backing me up here? Why are they remaining silent? What the f**k is going on?”
Fortunately for Senator Durbin, he should get a chance to set the record straight and quiet the crazy-making in his head tomorrow:
So, guess who's testifying before Senate Judiciary Tuesday? DHS Secretary Nielsen. She was there but does "not recall" if Trump said "shithole". Guess who's a senior member of committee? Durbin.https://t.co/cMSMKhgBVk— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) January 14, 2018
And thankfully, Lindsay Graham’s thinking has “not evolved” on the matter yet, either.
New: @LindseyGrahamSC declines to confirm "shithole countries" comment but tells me, "My memory hasn't evolved. I know what was said and I know what I said."— Jamie Lovegrove (@jslovegrove) January 15, 2018
Calls Oval Office meeting "disappointing" and "a step backward" but determined to continue working on DACA deal. #scpol
But this entire “shithole” debate has very much endangered the lives of 800,000 DREAMers. What’s happened is that Republicans and Democrats came to an agreement on DACA, an agreement that Trump suggested he was willing to sign, and then — probably because Stephen Miller was in the room — Trump changed his mind. And now, Trump is gaslighting the entire Democratic party, telling them it’s their fault for not coming to him with a DACA Bill, which is EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID.
Statement by me last night in Florida: “Honestly, I don’t think the Democrats want to make a deal. They talk about DACA, but they don’t want to help..We are ready, willing and able to make a deal but they don’t want to. They don’t want security at the border, they don’t want…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2018
…to stop drugs, they want to take money away from our military which we cannot do.” My standard is very simple, AMERICA FIRST & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2018
If you’re a Democrat who came to the table last week with what I thought was a very painful compromise — save the DREAMers in exchange for reforming the VISA lottery program, giving Trump several billions of dollars to enhance border security, and taking away the ability of DREAMers to bring their family members into the country — and you heard Trump called Haiti a shithole and then you wake up and see this, what do you think?
DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
So, now there’s actually a decent chance that the government shuts down on Friday because the Democrats have vowed not to sign a funding bill to fund the government until a bill is in place to save the DREAMers. Meanwhile, Trump won’t accept a bipartisan deal to save the DREAMers, and if the government shuts down, he’ll blame the Democrats for it. Particularly with his base, Trump is in a position to argue, “I wanted to save the DREAMers, but the Democrats wouldn’t budge, and now it’s all their fault that the government has shut down,” and the Democrats counterargument plays right into Donald Trump’s hands, because — if the government shuts down — the Democrats will have put the lives of DREAMers ahead of those in the federal government. And while 79 percent of all Americans support the DREAMers, how many of those will still support DREAMers if it means they don’t get their mail delivered? Or if they don’t get paid for two weeks?
In the meantime, while Democrats are calling Trump a racist, according to the Washington Post, he “has directed accusations of racism toward black people three times as often as he has done so against whites,” which is all part of his psychological plan to silence people of color and immigrants by calling them racist.
How crazy and frustrated does all of this make you feel? EXACTLY.