Last Week President Trump Was Proven to be a Charlatan, Fraud and Possibly a Criminal. No One Cares?
By any objective measure, President Donald Trump is enjoying a peak in his incredibly mercurial time in the White House.
His tax cuts have an already strong economy surging on an apparent sugar high. Unemployment continues to drop to impossibly low numbers.
The evangelicals in his base — those that held their noses as revelations of Trump’s moral peccadilloes emerged — are thrilled that he made good on a promise to flip the Supreme Court to a conservative tilt with not one, but two nominees.
While his approval numbers are still not terribly impressive, in context of where they’ve been so far in the first two years of his administration, Trump is enjoying a good time — having one of the best weeks of his presidency, pundits agreed.
A good week which was the very same week that The New York Times published one of the best sourced and detailed stories of the decade, which provides remarkable proof that…the president’s entire persona is a fraud.
The article revealed that Trump is far from the self-made man he loves to brag about, that he received many millions from his father even as a toddler, and very likely broke the law through tax schemes designed to defraud the government. His lawyer suspiciously issued a blanket denial without specifically identifying what was false.
Yes, we live in an age where cable news coverage is impulsively distracted by the latest shiny object (most recently the hot mess of Brett Kavanaugh‘s Supreme Court confirmation). But how is the New York Times deeply researched and by any fair assessment convincing story of Trump’s deceptions and cheating not THE story?
It is cliché to say, but no less enlightening: Imagine if the New York Times revealed during the previous administration that then President Barack Obama had been handed many millions (he said he never received) from a parent and worked to defraud the US government in the manner that the Trumps are alleged to have done? We literally would never hear the end of it from both the media and Republicans in Congress.
Trump appears to be uniquely covered in Teflon so negative stories don’t stick. But here are some other possibilities for why the media and public have so curiously passed over this bombshell-not-a-bombshell:
1) It’s possible that Trump has successfully neutered the New York Times with constant attacks that belittle them as “failing” or “fake news.” Thinking here is that, no matter how well sourced and evidence-based, some percentage of the country simply won’t believe the paper’s reporting.
2) It is simply too complicated of a story to resonate. Tax fraud is a heavy and complicated subject and the only easily digestible fact is that he lied about getting a $1 million loan from his dad as opposed to $413 million! (In today’s dollars.)
3) Everyone, including Trump’s supporters, now just accepts that he is a corrupt fraud. Stories such as these further reinforce what they already know about the president, and don’t detract from what they see as his successes.
4) Trump’s previous nods to his tax code gamesmanship make this hardly surprising. If one can manipulate loopholes with high-class lawyers then good for you! Most Americans seem to consider themselves unrealized millionaires, and probably believe they’d do the same if (when?) the opportunity presents itself.
5) His critics are too exhausted with other things to focus on this. Trump anger fatigue?
But this should matter.
It should absolutely matter that a major publication has proven with an 18-month investigation that the President of the United States lied throughout his entire career and refused to play by the rules and laws by which the rest of us Americans are forced to abide.
Put another way, either the New York Times committed the largest journalistic malpractice in recent history, or their reporting was beyond reproach. Both should be big stories, but only the latter seems likeliest and is oddly getting ignored.
Trump’s political career is marked by insidious but successful attacks — and nicknames — that target his critics’ backgrounds. He mocks Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) mercilessly for lying about his military service and undermines Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over her old claims to Native American heritage.
So maybe it’s necessary for President Trump to earn an unbecoming nickname to best capture his fraudulent rise to the presidency.
Benedict Trump? No…that’s too brunch-ey.
Daddy’s Boy? Lance (as in Armstrong)? Baghdad Don? Or how about Flounder? (from Animal House because he is a legacy!)
Maybe we should just call him what he truly is. Donald “The Fraud” Trump.
Feel free to add suggestions in the comment section below.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.