The President first told reporters that he had written letters to the families of soldiers who died in the recent attack in Niger and said he would soon call the families as well. He then claimed that his approach was unique, and that not all past presidents made those calls.
“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls. A lot of them didn’t make calls,” he said. “I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice so generally I would say that I like to call. I’m going to be calling them.”
Former aides to Obama quickly pushed back on Trump’s claim, calling it a “lie.”
A reporter followed up with Trump later in the press conference, prompting Trump to walk back his claim and say that he “was told” that Obama didn’t call the families of fallen soldiers.
“I don’t know if he did. No, no. I was told that he didn’t often and a lot of presidents don’t. They write letters,” Trump said.
“President Obama I think probably did sometimes and maybe sometimes he didn’t. I don’t know. That’s what I was told. All I can do is ask my generals,” the President continued. “Other presidents did not call. They’d write letters and some presidents didn’t do anything.”
He can’t help lying and blaming other people for his own troubles. It’s a pattern he’s followed that’s been traceable since he came into public view nearly 50 years ago and still continues, now as automatic and as incontrovertible as closing your eyes when sneezing.
Our system of government has the depth and the flexibility to absorb and recover from terrible shocks. We made it through the throes of nation-founding and setting out on a new course when the idea of representative democracy founded on a constitution of laws and rights was unheard of. We survived — barely — a civil war, the scars of which are still visible and not fully healed, and we have made it through misguided and ill-informed leaders and presidents and dealt with them without rancor or retribution. But this pathological pattern of lying and deliberate deception, of ruling by spite as if each act was to erase the recent past and lay waste to what’s left for no other reason than personal animus, is not something we have had to endure before, and it seems as if our system of governance has little recourse but to let him continue until either madness or nature takes its course.
Simply put, our country was not designed to handle being led by a pathological liar.