On Friday afternoon, Donald Trump hosted a meandering White House press conference, largely focused on his proposed border wall, in which the president unveiled a new talking point: his presidential predecessors privately agree with him about the medieval vanity project.
"This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it," the Republican declared. "Some of them have told me that we should have done it."
At a certain level, the argument has some appeal: Trump probably recognizes the skepticism surrounding his unpopular idea, but if he can convince people that other presidents agree with him, it may help broaden the support.
The trouble, of course, was that Trump was brazenly lying, once again describing private conversations that only occurred in his imagination. Politico reported over the weekend:
Asked if Clinton told Trump that he should have built a border wall, Clinton spokesman Angel Urena said, "He did not. In fact, they've not talked since the inauguration."
Bush spokesman Freddy Ford also said the two men had not discussed the matter. And Obama, for his part, has not spoken with Trump since his inauguration, except for a brief exchange at George H.W. Bush's funeral in Washington, D.C.
Obama has consistently blasted Trump's pledge to build a border wall.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for Obama explicitly rejected Trump's claim, and soon after, former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement, "I have not discussed the border wall with President Trump, and do not support him on the issue."
At this point, some of you are probably thinking, "Shocker. Trump was caught lying? It must be a day that ends in 'y'." In this case, however, I think there's a little more to it.