Trump’s lies continue to mount

Now, with Attorney General William Barr’s reputation for integrity in serious question for lying under oath to protect President Donald Trump, we seem to have hit full crisis mode in our distrust of anything an elected (or unelected) official says.

Of course Barr’s boss, the president, has led the country deep into this morass of dishonesty. The Fact Checkers database has now tallied over 10,000 false or misleading statements made by Trump in 828 days. Sixty-one of those misleading statements or outright lies were delivered at Trump’s campaign rally in Green Bay on April 27.

One of Trump’s most vicious lies is that Democrats and doctors conspire to kill newborns. “The baby is born,” Trump said, “And the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.” Did anybody at that Green Bay rally feel uncomfortable with how outrageously Trump slandered both doctors and mothers?

Those who wonder how formerly conscientious public servants like Barr get sucked into the black hole of sacrificing their honor for Trump should consult former FBI Director James Comey’s May 1 op-ed in the New York Times, “How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr.” “Accomplished people lacking inner strength,” writes Comey, “can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. ... You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values.”

In the end, says Comey, “Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.”

Comey’s editorial helps explain why politicians Trump has insulted, such as Ted Cruz (whose father Trump scurrilously implicated in JFK’s assassination), have become his ardent defenders.

It’s going to take a lot more of Comey’s kind of truth-telling to crack the shell of lies around this presidency.

Thomas Smith

River Falls