TRUMP: Elijah Cummings [a Democratic representative from Maryland] was in my office and he said, "You will go down as one of the great presidents in the history of our country."NYT: Really.TRUMP: And then he went out and I watched him on television yesterday and I said, "Was that the same man?"
[Cummings] explained in a statement to [the Washington Post]: "During my meeting with the president and on several occasions since then, I have said repeatedly that he could be a great president if ... if ... he takes steps to truly represent all Americans rather than continuing on the divisive and harmful path he is currently on."This is Trump's fabulism in action. He hears a comment like that, lops off the all-important "if" part, and takes it as a compliment. And then he takes that perceived compliment and amplifies it by a factor of about four; "great president" becomes "great presidents in the history of the country."The question, as with all of Trump's falsehoods, is whether it's subconscious or deliberate -- the "Stupid or Liar" theory. Either he doesn't comprehend what Cummings was saying to him -- which is a big problem in a president -- or he chooses to completely misrepresent it -- which is a big problem in a president.