Along with many other Americans, I was pretty surprised when senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) came out and denied that Trump called other countries “s***holes” in a White House meeting on Thursday. It had been pretty clearly established — Dick Durbin (D-IL) gave firsthand witness, and both Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) confirmed secondhand reports. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL, House) refused to deny it. Besides, the president seems to have bragged about the epithet to his friends. So why are Perdue and Cotton out there telling us such an obvious lie?
Well, this seems to be their excuse:
White House official told me tonight there is debate internally on whether Trump said “shithole” or “shithouse.” Perdue and Cotton seem to have heard latter, this person said, and are using to deny.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) January 15, 2018
Yes, you’re actually reading this. They went on TV this morning to deny that Trump said “s***hole” because they believe he said “s***house” instead.
But, naturally, they didn’t say the second part of that, choosing instead to deliberately mislead the viewers. A lie by omission is still a lie. Apparently this is what passes for honesty and integrity in the modern Republican Party. The party that has spent most of the last 30 years lecturing everyone who will listen about their moral superiority is reduced to profound moral cowardice.