A one-man Lloyd’s of Lon­don

Dana Milbank

Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

— Don­ald Trump makes more guar­an­tees than a used-car sales­man. I guar­an­tee you.

He guar­an­tees Mex­ico will pay for the bor­der wall. “I’ll get Mex­ico to pay for it one way or the other. I guar­an­tee you that.”

He guar­an­tees that his still-se­cret tax re­turns are the hugest ever. “They’re very big tax re­turns,” he said af­ter the New Hamp­shire pri­mary. “I guar­an­tee you this, the big­gest ever in the his­tory of what we’re do­ing. ... But we’ll be re­leas­ing them.”

He guar­an­tees that Karl Rove and David Ax­el­rod were more vi­o­lent with crowds than Trump’s cam­paign man­ager, Corey Le­wandowski. “I guar­an­tee you they prob­a­bly did stuff that was more phys­i­cal than this.”

And, mem­o­rably, he guar­an­tees us that his pe­nis isn’t small. “I guar­an­tee you, there’s no prob­lem. I guar­an­tee you.”

The guy


is a one-man Lloyd’s of Lon­don. But how will he make good on all his as­sur­ance poli­cies? Are they money-back guar­an­tees? Full faith and credit guar­an­tees?

Some Trump prom­ises are 100 per­cent guar­an­teed. When he tells the pres­i­dent of Ford Mo­tor Co. that the com­pany will be taxed if it builds a fac­tory over­seas, “I guar­an­tee you 100 per­cent he will say, ‘ Mr.Pres­i­dent, we have de­cided to build our plant in the United States.’” (Trump at an­other point guar­an­teed the time by which Ford would ca­pit­u­late: “I would say by 4 o’clock in the af­ter­noon ... But I guar­an­tee you, by 5 o’clock the next day.”)

Other guar­an­tees are clearly not 100 per­cent. “An­other plane was blown up, and I can prac­ti­cally guar­an­tee who blew it up,” he said of the Egyp­tAir crash, even though the cause still hasn’t been of­fi­cially de­ter­mined, and no ter­ror­ist group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity.

But here’s some­thing you can re­ally take to the bank. Trump’s “guar­an­tees” are like pretty much ev­ery­thing else that comes out of his mouth: The truth is not high on his list of con­sid­er­a­tions, and he sel­dom suf­fers any con­se­quences for the non- sense.

A no­table ex­cep­tion came in re­cent days when The Wash­ing­ton Post’s David Fahren­thold — dubbed “a nasty guy” by Trump for his ef­forts — re­ported that Trump hadn’t made good on his prom­ise to do­nate $6 mil­lion to veter­ans’ char­i­ties af­ter a Jan­uary fundraiser. Trump, asked about the $6 mil­lion, said, “I didn’t say six.” Good thing he didn’t guar­an­tee that he didn’t say six. Fahren­thold found video of Trump us­ing the $6 mil­lion fig­ure twice at the fundraiser it­self and for sev­eral days af­ter — in­clud­ing one TV ap­pear­ance in which he re­peated the fig­ure four times in six sen­tences.

On Mon­day, the day be­fore he came clean on the do­na­tions to veter­ans, Trump spoke at the Rolling Thun­der gath­er­ing on the Mall. He claimed there were “600,000 peo­ple here try­ing to get in,” but or­ga­niz­ers put at­ten­dance at 5,000 — and there weren’t long lines.

I can prac­ti­cally guar­an­tee you Trump knew that line would be in this col­umn. At a can­di­dates’ fo­rum in Novem­ber, Trump noted the full house and said that “the peo­ple in the media will not re­port that, I guar­an­tee, be­cause I know how their minds work.”

Trump guar­an­tees are some­times tech­ni­cal (“I guar­an­tee you they have sub­stan­dard parts in nu­clear and in air­planes be­cause they get them from China”), some­times au­da­cious (“I know a way that would ab­so­lutely give us guar­an­teed vic­tory” over the Is­lamic State) and oc­ca­sion­ally quan­ti­ta­tive: “I guar­an­tee you” that if he ne­go­ti­ated with Iran, “a deal would be made that’s 100 times bet­ter.”

One hun­dred times bet­ter — or your money back!

Many of Trump’s guar­an­tees will never be tested be­cause they oc­cur in al­ter­nate re­al­i­ties. Af­ter Ted Cruz and John Ka­sich tried to team up against Trump, the can­di­date said, “I guar­an­tee you if they had it to do again [they] would have never done it.”

As for Trump’s un­couth an­tics, he says: “If I acted pres­i­den­tial, I guar­an­tee you this morn­ing I wouldn’t be here” on top.

Diplo­macy: “I guar­an­tee you our re­la­tion­ships will be far bet­ter than they are right now.”

The tar­iff on Ja­panese cars en­ter­ing the United States: “I guar­an­tee you it’s prob­a­bly zero.”

The Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner- ship: “Our guys have never even read it. I’ll guar­an­tee you that.”

China and the TPP: “I guar­an­tee you. ... They’re go­ing to come in through the back door at a later date.”

Hil­lary Clin­ton’s email server: “I guar­an­tee you one thing: We’re go­ing to be talk­ing about those emails ev­ery mo­ment of ev­ery day.”

Trump was guar­an­teed not to honor that last prom­ise. It would have left him no time to make other guar­an­tees.

Dana Milbank is a syn­di­cated colum­nist. Con­tact him at danamil­bank@wash­post.com.

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