At his White House cabinet meeting this week, Donald Trump went into quite a bit of detail while describing a conversation with the head of a "very rich" foreign country. As the American president described his discussion, the foreign leader -- a "very great gentleman" -- has been charging the United States when we fly planes over his country, even though the United States is preventing that country from being "overrun" by terrorists.
According to the story, Trump has convinced his unnamed foreign counterpart to stop doing this, which will mean a savings of "millions and millions of dollars" to American taxpayers.
It all sounded quite nice, although the conversation almost certainly didn't happen in reality. The Washington Post tried to find a country that met Trump's description. No such country exists.
Today, the Republican told reporters about conversations he's had with his American predecessors. Referring to construction of a border wall, Trump said:
"This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it."Some of them have told me that we should have done it."
During Trump's time in office, he's only had five living predecessors: Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. (H.W. Bush, of course, passed late last year.)
None of them made any effort to build a giant border wall, and none of them have publicly endorsed Trump's crusade. In fact, none of them even voted for this guy. We're nevertheless supposed to believe that "some" of these five men -- not just one of them -- have privately told Trump that the United States should've built a giant border wall.
I'm comfortable concluding that he made this up, not only because common sense still exists, but because Trump keeps describing conversations that occurred only in his mind.
In June, for example, he described a chat with “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon that Trump made up. In August the president described a phone conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that, in reality, never occurred. Before that, Trump was excited about a phone call he’d received from the head of the Boy Scouts, which also hadn’t happened.
In July, he offered details of a phone conversation with the head of a large nation, with over 300 million people, who complained to the American president about the foreign country’s 9% GDP growth rate. There is no such country. Though Trump talked about the phone call more than once, he made it up.
Around the same time, he went into quite a bit of detail about the behind-the-scenes discussions he participated in over border-wall construction in California, despite the fact that those conversations apparently weren’t real.
And none of this includes the highly dubious conversations he's had with his many anonymous validators.
I don't know what it says about Trump that he keeps describing imaginary conversations, but it's quite unsettling.