The “president” of the United States is such a shameless liar that there is now an entire media beat dedicated to individual sub-categories of his lies. Among his more predictable tics: the famous I have a girlfriend in Canada, but you wouldn’t know her routine. He wants everyone to know that he just talked to a guy who talked to a guy who is just so damn supportive of everything Trump is doing but, um, you wouldn’t know him. The name isn’t important, after all. Or the company. Or whether or not Donald can only see him after doing three lines of cocaine.
Bloomberg is the latest outlet to chronicle some of Donald’s imaginary friends. Each of them is a variation of, well, this.
“I was with one of the greatest companies in the world. The chief executive officer. Very short while ago. And it really affects him,” Trump said at a July 31 campaign rally in Tampa, referring to his controversial use of tariffs. “He said ‘You know what, this does affect our company. But, Mr. President, keep going. You’re doing the right thing.”’
Trump didn’t identify his supporter, and the White House won’t say who it is.
I DO TOO HAVE FRIENDS. THEY ARE SUPER SMART AND HAVE LOTS OF MONEY AND THEY THINK I’M A GENIUS. ONE OF THEM RIDES A UNICYCLE TO WORK EVERY DAY. I SAID TO HIM, I SAID WHY DO YOU DO THAT, AND HE SAID IT’S BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS SO STRONG HE ONLY NEEDS ONE WHEEL NOW, THANKS TO ME. TRUE STORY.
It’s pathetic, obviously. It’s a symptom of Trump’s impulsiveness and uncontrollable narcissism, and is a close relative of his rally claims that, no matter where he was or how large or small the venue is, there are always “thousands” of people stranded outside, unable to get in, but don’t worry because the imaginary crowds outside are watching him on imaginary giant televisions installed just outside the venue. He is incapable of functioning without these lies. He couldn’t do it. The notion that he is the greatest person ever, and that he is surrounded by invisible people who recognize that greatness no matter what the rest of you louder, more optically opaque people think, is central to his identity.
He’s out of his gourd, is what I’m trying to say. Totally off his rocker. But this, at least, is a subcategory of his lies that probably isn’t going to get us all killed.
His habit of making up employment statistics and other bits of core provable data is more pernicious; having invisible friends who agree with him no matter what he says is almost charmingly stupid, in comparison. And in the shadow of his grifting and his treason, it’s become barely worth mentioning.
But let’s have more of this sort of reporting anyway, please. It’s important not just to recognize when Trump lies, but to recognize that his lies are so commonplace that they can be sorted and categorized. It’s a level of rank, omnipresent dishonesty that would get you fired as a cashier or as a plumber and would in most circles render a person isolated and friendless, but for some reason Republican lawmakers are certain that it’s not a dealbreaker for a president. Go figure.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.