Donald Trump’s pre-midterm lie-athon has mostly gone off without a hitch, if you ignore the abject stupidity of all those lies. (Not sure why we even need to talk about protecting people with preexisting conditions since Trump long ago promised a universal health care system.)
But now his energy secretary, Rick Perry — about whom Trump once said “he should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate” — has spilled the beans on one of Trump’s most brazen lies. And it could end up hurting the reelection prospects of Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) in a race that FiveThirtyEight currently rates as a toss-up.
But first, here’s the background. For some reason, Nevadans don’t want all the country’s nuclear waste dumped in their state. But Trump does. Of course, Trump being Trump, he doesn’t want Nevadans to know that he wants them to take all our nuclear waste because Heller is embroiled in a tough reelection battle with Democrat Jacky Rosen. So — gasp! — he lied.
One thing that unites Nevadans is opposition to President Donald Trump’s effort to turn the state into a huge nuclear waste dump.
That’s why many were surprised when Trump suggested he might abandon that policy after touring the state recently with GOP Senator Dean Heller, who is in a tight reelection race against Democrat Jacky Rosen.
But Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, admitted on Friday the administration still supports building the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository outside of Las Vegas.
In doing so, Perry effectively spoiled Trump’s effort to help Heller, as Jon Ralston, editor of the Nevada Independent, explained to Bloomberg: “Poor Rick Perry didn’t get the memo and accidentally told the truth.”
Seems that the federal government long ago designated Nevada — specifically Yucca Mountain, which is 90 miles outside of Las Vegas — as its nuclear waste pit, and George W. Bush’s administration took several steps to move that plan forward. But after Nevada’s Harry Reid became Senate majority leader and Barack Obama became president, the plan stalled.
Trump revived it — and now he’s fervently pretending that he didn’t.
It’s unsurprising then that Trump made a lot of news when he appears to reverse course and told a Nevada radio station on October 20, “I think you should do things where people want them to happen, so I would be very inclined to be against it.” He added, “We will be looking at it very seriously over the next few weeks, and I agree with the people of Nevada.”
Many were skeptical of Trump’s Yucca statement. After all, Trump was the one who proposed reviving Yucca in the first place.
So it wasn’t entirely a shock when Perry said a week later on October 26, that “yes” the administration still supports opening Yucca. Indeed, Perry pointed out, “I’m making this presumption by looking at a budgeting process and there was money in the president’s budget to manage Yucca.”
Wait, maybe Trump’s plan to protect people with preexisting conditions is to give them all a free stay in Yucca Mountain for experimental radiation therapy.
That would make as much sense as anything else he’s said over the past two weeks.
There’s still time to turn this Senate seat blue.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.