Asked on Monday’s Today show, how he would “sum up the weekend,” Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin answered, “Some good moments completely overshadowed by the worst instincts of Donald Trump and the people around him.” Alluding to Trump’s disastrous focus this weekend on lying about the size of his inaugural crowd, Halperin warned that “the presidency cannot be based on petty lies.”
Watch courtesy of Today on NBC:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 23, 2017
Mark Halperin: [H]e’s going to run a different kind of presidency…but the things they did, particularly the falsehoods from the White House podium [and] from the president himself at the CIA are things that must be corrected for himself, for the country, for the world. The presidency cannot be based on petty lies.
Matt Lauer: The fighting over these facts, and now we have this new term ‘alternative facts.’ They’re part of a bigger problem aren’t they?…there is an inherent insecurity in this, isn’t there?
Halperin: Donald Trump, we’ve seen it throughout his career, he is obsessed how he comes across…It will be destructive to his entire agenda if he doesn’t understand the reality that he needs to build support, not defend moments of weakness with lies.
Halperin noted that today is the first full weekday “where he can start to focus on things,” and pointed to the mistake he made attacking the marchers, where “he sent a horrible message.”
Sure, Trump can technically correct these mistakes but that would require an admission, not necessarily publicly but to himself, that he had made a mistake, and there is no evidence at all, anywhere, that Donald Trump can admit he has made a mistake. After all, he turned his Atlantic City fiasco into a great victory.
Mark Halperin responded to Saturday’s events by tweeting “There’s nothing ‘populist’ abt starting admin w/ demonstrably false statements at CIA wall/WH podium meant only for POTUS ego/image,” but then there is nothing populist about Trump at all, beyond empty words. One look at his cabinet dispels that lie.
It is a mistake to think that Donald Trump thinks like the rest of us. Halperin is right that the presidency should not be based on petty lies, but it is a mistake to assume Donald Trump will see it this way or even that he understands the things he said were lies.
It is scary to think the president is lying to everyone else in such blatant fashion. Scarier still is the idea that he is lying to himself.