Donald Trump has boasted more than once that he has “one of the great memories of all time.” It’s therefore odd when he forgets events from his own presidency.
At a cabinet meeting two months ago, for example, Trump talked about the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “We had it done, but unfortunately, somebody decided to vote against that at the last moment,” he said, in apparent reference to the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Except, that’s not what happened. Three Republican senators, including McCain, balked at a stripped down repeal bill, which was intended to serve as a vehicle for additional negotiations. Even if McCain had voted the other way, ACA repeal had several additional steps to go, and the president’s description of these events suggested he remembered what transpired incorrectly.
Yesterday, Trump’s memory failed him again.
“The reason the DACA for Wall deal didn’t get done was that a ridiculous court decision from the 9th Circuit allowed DACA to remain, thereby setting up a Supreme Court case. After ruling, Dems dropped deal - and that’s where we are today, Democrat obstruction of the needed Wall.”
Putting aside some of the nagging details – the wall isn’t “needed,” the 9th Circuit’s ruling wasn’t “ridiculous,” etc. – the president’s timeline is all wrong.
It’s true that in early September 2017, Trump and Democratic leaders reached a tentative deal, which extended DACA and boosted border security, but (a) the agreement did not include wall funding; and (b) the president abandoned the agreement soon after when confronted with complaints from the far-right.
Two months later, in early November 2017, the 9th Circuit’s ruling changed the calculus, but it did not derail a possible deal on immigration.
On the contrary, the congressional debate continued into February 2018, when a variety of competing plans came to the Senate floor, including a bipartisan deal that included some wall funding. The White House rejected it.
In fact, it was one of six different bipartisan immigration deals Trump opposed, with the president insisting that each plan wasn’t far enough to the right.
How can a man with “one of the great memories of all time” forget this?