Strange em­a­na­tions from Wash­ing­ton

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

This ap­peared in News­day: Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump announced sup­port for im­mi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion Wed­nes­day that would cut by half the fed­eral pro­gram that al­lows le­gal im­mi­gra­tion into the coun­try and stop giv­ing pri­or­ity to rel­a­tives of cit­i­zens and le­gal res­i­dents. It has lit­tle sup­port and no chance of pass­ing. Yet he held a news con­fer­ence about dras­tic changes to le­gal im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies that would tram­ple the na­tion’s ideals.

The pres­i­dent is scram­bling, try­ing to turn the spot­light away from the health in­sur­ance de­ba­cle, plum­met­ing polls, a po­ten­tial news-rig­ging scan­dal, Rus­sian sanc­tions he did not want and his strange affin­ity for making un­true state­ments.

Trump feels he needs to re-en­er­gize his base as his poll num­bers hit all-time lows. The Real Clear Pol­i­tics polling av­er­age shows the pres­i­dent’s approval is down to 39 per cent, 18 points lower than his dis­ap­proval rat­ing. Even Trump’s per­sonal favourite poll, Ras­mussen, showed his approval rat­ing slip­ping to 39 per cent this week.

And the cred­i­bil­ity of the White House keeps get­ting called into ques­tion. A fed­eral law­suit claims that Trump him­self was in­volved in a dis­cred­ited and re­tracted Fox News story. And then there are ca­su­ally in­vented, eas­ily re­vealed un­truths. Trump’s too-po­lit­i­cal and strange speech to the na­tional Boy Scout Jam­boree about how builder Wil­liam Le­vitt lost his em­pire got mixed re­views. But when The Wall Street Jour­nal de­scribed it that way, Trump dis­agreed. “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts say­ing it was the great­est speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thank­ful,” he said. The Boy Scouts say no such call was made.

Trump also claimed Mon­day he had a phone call from the pres­i­dent of Mex­ico con­grat­u­lat­ing him on his suc­cess in stop­ping il­le­gal cross­ings at our South­ern bor­der. But Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto says the call never hap­pened, and a Trump spokesper­son ad­mit­ted there was no call.

Trump’s theme for this week is “Amer­i­can dream.” But in­creas­ingly, this is turn­ing into a night­mare.

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