There are a handful of phrases that Donald Trump uses that should raise immediate red flags. When the outgoing Republican president tells a story about large, crying men, overcome with emotion because of some amazing thing Trump claims to have accomplished, it's a telltale sign he's brazenly lying.
When he tells a story in which unnamed officials keep calling him "sir," that's a dead giveaway, too. Likewise, anytime Trump uses the phrase "ahead of schedule," he's obviously trying to deceive people.
But over the weekend, the outgoing president used another one, which often gets overlooked. Consider this tweet from Saturday, in which Trump peddled obvious nonsense about President-elect Joe Biden's victory:
"He didn't win the Election. He lost all 6 Swing States, by a lot. They then dumped hundreds of thousands of votes in each one, and got caught. Now Republican politicians have to fight so that their great victory is not stolen. Don't be weak fools!"
As anyone with an even passing familiarity with reality knows, all of this is ridiculous. Trump didn't win the states he lost; the GOP ticket didn't achieve a "great victory"; nothing is being "stolen"; etc.
But the phrase that stood out was "got caught." In other words, as far as the hapless Republican is concerned, nefarious forces not only conspired against him, these rascals and their scheme have since been exposed for all the world to see.
For those uncomfortable with deranged nonsense, it's obvious that Trump's perceived foes were not, in fact, "caught" doing anything except winning a free and fair presidential election by a rather wide margin.
And therein lies the problem: when the outgoing president uses the phrase "got caught," Trump is nearly always referring to circumstances in which no one has been caught doing anything of the kind.
Trump's argued, for example, that Biden "got caught" engaging in corruption. That never happened. The Republican also believes that Twitter was "caught" working against conservatives, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) "got caught" cheating, and former FBI Director James Comey "got caught" doing something (it wasn't clear what). None of this was true.
Similarly, Trump believes that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton "got caught" committing treason by spying on his 2016 campaign, and "radical left" Democrats "got caught" engaging in some kind of "coup."
Again, none of these things happened in reality. But the outgoing president not only seems eager to play make-believe, he also seems to believe that by asserting that these ne'er-do-wells "got caught," people are supposed to assume that his lies have been proven true.
They haven't. "Got caught" is just another telltale sign that the Republican is pushing a line he made up.