Trump is lying about the border situation again this morning. Here’s one tweet with five sentences — each a bald-faced lie:
Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal. Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work. $5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!
Trump is holding a meeting on border security with Democrats and Republicans today, according to The Post:
President Trump invited congressional leaders to the White House for a briefing on border security, the first face-to-face session involving Republicans and Democrats as the partial government shutdown entered its second week.
The briefing will occur one day before Democrats take control of the House and Trump gets his first taste of divided government.
It was unclear whether the Wednesday session would break the budget impasse — in its 11th day Tuesday — as Trump has demanded billions of dollars for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, and Democrats have rejected his request. Trump had campaigned on a pledge to build the wall at Mexico’s expense, a proposition Mexican officials called ludicrous.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security are scheduled to brief the top two leaders in each party in the House and the Senate. “Border Security and the Wall ‘thing’ and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
In reply to the “let’s make a deal” tweet, Pelosi in essence told Trump to blow his “deal” out his ass. But perhaps more instructive was her response to the lies about the border situation that Trump read off index cards during his televised dust-up with Pelosi and Schumer on December 11:
What the President is representing in terms of his cards over there are not factual. We have to have to an evidence-based conversation about what does work, what money has been spent, and how effective it is.
Bingo, once and future Madam Speaker. It all comes down to Trump’s willingness to tell shameless lies at an unprecedented volume. To borrow an annoying word from Silicon Valley, Trump’s shamelessness and lying “disrupted” politics as surely as Lyft and Uber wrenched the individual transportation industry right out from under old-school taxicab companies.
Our Beltway media still hasn’t adjusted to the shameless and constant lying. Millions of our fellow citizens are still walking around shell-shocked two years into the Trump LIElapalooza spectacle. It’s exhausting, and it never ends.
But now the Democrats are up to bat, and Greg Sargent at The Post makes a good case for centering their tenure on reclaiming the truth — and using the border wall fight as the opening salvo:
The near-total lack of GOP congressional oversight on the Trump administration hasn’t merely let President Trump’s corruption and authoritarianism run rampant. It has also allowed Trump’s bottomless dishonesty, bad faith and megalomaniacal delusions to fester unchecked when it comes to major governing decisions — and one glaring example is the government shutdown over his wall.
Democrats have a big opportunity to begin changing this. When they take over the House, they can use the oversight process not just to investigate Trumpian corruption and abuses, but also to try to restore facts, empiricism and good-faith information-gathering to a place in governing processes and debates…
Democrats have an opening. They should formally request that the Congressional Research Service do a comprehensive report on the current state of border security. This is exactly what the CRS is for. As CRS has explained, it provides lawmakers with detailed empirical information at all stages of the process, including helping them “better understand the existing situation” so they can “assess whether there is a problem requiring a legislative remedy…”
Democrats can also hold hearings at which Homeland Security officials are directly asked to testify to the state of border security. As it happens, a 2017 Homeland Security report found that the border is more secure than it has ever been, which also undercuts Trump’s wall rage-fantasies. Democrats could bring in the authors of that report and ask them to reiterate and explain this conclusion and justify “why we need to spend X dollars on a wall,” [Cornell Law Professor Josh] Chafetz noted, which “itself would make good television.”
Sargent admits the obvious — lies travel faster than truth. Hearings and reports won’t yield as much click-bait as xenophobic lies. But he notes that “effectively presented truths can also go viral” — as happened when someone smuggled audio of crying children from one of Trump’s baby jails.
The meeting Trump called is reportedly taking place in the Situation Room to underscore the national security implications of the border fight. Or maybe that location was chosen to give Trump an excuse to keep the press out so he doesn’t get his balls handed to him on live TV again.
In either case, I hope Nancy Pelosi will make another statement emphasizing the importance of having a reality-based debate on border security funding. Insisting on the truth having a role in policy-making will be an uphill battle given that the president is a pathological liar, everyone in his party is either a spineless enabler and/or evil knave, and too many Beltway journalists are maladaptive, lazy and/or dumb as a bag of hair. But the truth is worth fighting for!