After not denying it for more than 24 hours, Trump now insists — kinda, sorta — that he didn’t say that he didn’t want immigrants from “shithole” countries coming here. And the Republican Senators who were there suddenly changed their stories to support his.
For the first few days after the meeting, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. David Perdue said they didn’t recall what Trump had said. Then suddenly, after he denied it himself, they have total recall and are sure he didn’t say it. But Sen. Lindsey Graham at least implies that he did. But all of this misses the point, just like everyone focusing on the profanity of the word “shithole.” Whether he used that term or not, the idea he expressed — that we should bring in white Europeans and not dark-skinned Haitians or Africans — is racist and wrong.
But here’s the thing: The reason to believe that Trump is lying about this is that he lies about everything. He’s the illegitimate son of Chicken Little and the boy who cried wolf — at some point, after you’ve lied so much, nothing you say has any credibility. And then we have reports like this one from conservative blowhard Erick Erickson, who says that Trump called people after that meeting and bragged to them about using the term “shithole countries” because he was proud of it and knew it would play to his base.
It’s weird that people in the room don’t remember Trump using that word when Trump himself was calling friends to brag about it afterwards. I spoke to one of those friends. The President thought it would play well with the base.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 14, 2018
This would also fit Trump’s patterns perfectly. If you read Michael Wolff’s book, you’d know that he often does this. He’ll take a meeting or come up with some idea he thinks is brilliant and call his buddies and tell them about it. My favorite example from the book is when he called several people and told them he had figured out how to kill the Russia investigation — he would call it a “witch hunt.” None of them were impressed or thought it would work.