After three years of relentless lying, it’s clear to most Americans the Donald Trump is incapable of telling the truth, particularly about himself. He is the most prolific liar ever recorded, having already racked up more than 16,000 documented falsehoods. Trump has made it plain that he will lie about anything – great or small.
Making matters worse is that Trump’s proclivity for prevarication is apparently contagious. He is a fabrication carrier who infects all those around him. And on the opening day of Trump’s impeachment hearing in the Senate, Trump’s disease of deceit was ravaging through the body of his White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. This is far more troubling than the fantastical fictions of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, or his sycophantic mouthpieces in Congress or the wingnut press. Cipollone is employed by the American people to represent their interests and to protect and defend the Constitution. He is not Trump’s lawyer.
Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Cipollone from delivering a statement (video below) that was riddled with lies, beginning with his ludicrous assertion that “President Trump is a man of his word.” How anyone can say that with a straight face is inconceivable. Cipollone also claimed that House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, prohibited Republicans from participating in the House hearings. But not only did they participate, they had equal time with the Democrats. This is so egregiously false that it can’t be merely a misstatement.
Yet even that was not the most profoundly dishonest comment by Cipollone. He went on describe a scenario that was such a jumble of inaccuracies and outright nonsense that it makes everything else he might say utterly unbelievable. He began…
“It’s very difficult to sit there and listen to Mr. Schiff tell the tale that he just told. Let’s remember how we all got here. They made false allegations about a telephone call. The president of the United States declassified that telephone call and released it to the public. How’s that for transparency?”
Right from the start Cipollone is getting everything wrong. It wasn’t Schiff who made the original (and verified truthful) allegations revealing Trump’s misconduct during the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. It was the whistleblower, whose report was deemed credible by the intelligence community’s inspector general. Trump himself affirmed it on national TV. And Trump has still never released a transcript of the phone call, only a partial description in a memo. Now he says he has a tape recording. You’d think he would release that if it exonerated him. Cipollone continued…
“When Mr. Schiff found out that there was nothing to his allegations, he focused on the second telephone call. He and his colleagues made false allegations about that second telephone call that occurred before the one that he demanded. So the President of the United States declassified and released that telephone call. Still nothing.”
Cipollone is badly distorting the whole timeline. The only phone call that had any relevance to this inquiry was the second one that Trump keeps exhorting people to “Read the Transcript!” Indeed they should read it, because it clearly shows that Trump coerced Zelensky to help him smear Joe Biden. The first phone call was merely a congratulatory call after Zelensky won his election. Although Trump lied about that as well, claiming that they spoke about corruption. They didn’t. And Cipollone still wasn’t done lying…
“When Mr. Schiff saw that his allegations were false, and he knew it anyway, what did he do? He went to the House and he manufactured a fraudulent version of that phone call. He read it to the American people, and he didn’t tell them it was a complete fake.”
This is a flagrant, unadulterated, shameless, provable lie. And it’s a lie that Cipollone is parroting from one that Trump has been telling for months:
Let’s settle this once and for all. Trump’s obsession with Schiff stems from a brief portion of remarks made in a congressional hearing that Trump utterly failed to understand. Apparently Trump doesn’t grasp the concept of parody, or paraphrasing with emphasis, to make a point. That’s what Schiff was doing when Trump whined, falsely, that Schiff was quoting him verbatim.
Schiff actually prefaced his remarks by saying that Trump’s phone call with Zelensky “reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character, and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates.” So contrary to Trump’s brazen lie, Schiff was not “supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call.” He explicitly stated that he was not quoting Trump and he had no intention of misleading anyone. It’s all available for anyone to see and hear for themselves in the video.
The fact that Cipollone would repeat Trump’s nakedly dishonest account of Schiff’s remarks is proof that he is unfit to serve as a White House counsel. He knows that Trump was lying, and he knows that his repetition is also a lie. He is abusing his oath of office, his duty to the American people, and his loyalty to the nation. In a just administration he would be fired, disbarred, and prosecuted for perjury. But in Trump’s administration his disgraceful behavior will be heralded as heroic. Trump’s pseudo-patriotic cult followers are just too mesmerized to tell the difference between good and evil.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.