Washington — US President Donald Trump has owned up to making things up.
For a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump was by his own admission unprepared – deficient in the fundamentals of the Canada- US trade relationship that he’d been railing about since the campaign.
He insisted to Trudeau that the US was running a trade deficit with Canada, a statement contradicted by US government statistics. He was winging it, he confided to donors at a private Missouri political fundraiser on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t even know,” he said. “I had no idea.”
Others might be mortified at being caught short. Not this president.
For Trump the showman, the episode illustrated his skill at improvisation. Still, it was a rare admission that he will say things without knowing if they are true.
Trump’s impulse to replace fact with fiction has defined him as a politician and as a businessman before that.
Depositions reviewed by AP from his litigious years in real estate show a history of dodgy statements about his property and wealth.
Asked once about overstating the number of units sold in a Las Vegas tower, he said he didn’t intend his answer to be taken literally.
Trump’s years of questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship showed a willingness to perpetuate myth that was seen again early in his presidential campaign, when he insisted against all evidence that Muslims took to the streets in New Jersey to celebrate the 2001 terrorist attack across the river in Manhattan.
In office, he routinely misuses numbers – trade statistics among them – and recounts events to suit his agenda even if the facts don’t fit.
Of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Florida, he said: “If you had one person in that room that could carry a gun and knew how to use it, it wouldn’t have happened, or certainly not to the extent it did,” a statement belied by the fact that the club had an armed guard on duty who immediately exchanged fire with the gunman.
In leaked audio of the Missouri fundraiser, first reported by The Washington Post, Trump says that in his meeting with Trudeau, he thought the US must be running a trade deficit with Canada because the Canadians have been smart about trade and “we’re so stupid”.— AFP.