Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is a liar. One could argue that politicians - like sellers of used cars - lie with incredible ease. But with President Trump it's too easy. His reckless disregard of facts is without equal among American Presidents.
How much longer before we see this middle-of-the-night Tweet?: "Nobody's lies are bigger or better than Donald J. Trump's!" He often refers to himself in third-person. Indeed, President Trump is to lying what Itzhak Perlman is to playing the violin...gifted. He lies frequently and effortlessly. His lying - much like breathing - almost seems involuntary.
Remarkably, and maddeningly, Trump supporters actually defend this pathological liar turned world leader. Millions of voters decided truth and integrity were the least important traits in a President. There will come a time - very likely soon - when they regret their decisions.
Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway, the shameless shill who managed Trump's campaign is now Counsellor to the President. She spends most of her time spinning his lies into truths for worldwide consumption. And despite a smile that would make a Cheshire Cat jealous, she is failing miserably after only a few days in the White House. Turning fiction into fact, it seems, is a hard thing to do. Even so, you can't feel sorry for her...she's simply that unlikeable.
Others, like Sean Spicer, former Republican National Committee Communications Director and now White House Press Secretary, isn't faring any better. The Trump Administration is trying its best to make lying seem normal.
Some defenders of President Trump's daily lies appear on cables news networks like CNN as paid surrogates masquerading as expert analysts and news sources. Kayleigh McEnany, Jeffrey Lord and Scottie Nell Hughes are among the ideologues that often make even CNN journalists wince. All three - and they aren't stupid - look stupid as they try to make what President Trump says and does seem believable...credible. Of course, there's the entire team at Fox News - from anchors to so-called experts - who practice something other than journalism. Propaganda comes to mind.
Unfortunately, lying is not President Trump's only fatal flaw. He is a womanizer...a genital-grabber with a long-standing sense of entitlement. We have him on tape. But his bad behaviour and lack-of-character issues don't end there. He bullies and ridicules those who disagree with him, even if they suffer from a disability, as he did with New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski. He's not a counter-puncher...he's a dirty fighter. And his view of virtually everything is filtered through a perversely narcissistic lens. He lacks empathy.
Ultimately, you have to ask, "How smart is President Trump?" Well, we know he spent five years actively trying to de-legitimize Barrack Obama's Presidency by claiming - against overwhelming evidence otherwise - that Obama was born somewhere other than America.
Until nine days before his inauguration, then President-Elect Trump refused to accept the findings of all 17 intelligence agencies on whether Russia hacked Americans' computers during the Presidential campaigns. Even then, it was a half-hearted acceptance, with the suggestion that China or even that 400-pound guy lounging on a bed in New Jersey could be culprits, too.
Increasingly, many Americans have a sinking feeling that the election was tinkered with, both by Russia and through FBI Director James Comey's release of a letter 11 days before the election that damaged Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Interference in an election doesn't necessarily mean some evil party actually changed ballots. There are other ways of cheating. And who doubts - except possibly those who live in Trump World - that fake news and the FBI Director's actions influenced people's voting? How many? No one knows for sure...but it surely had an effect on Electoral College votes in three states that hinged on just thousands of votes...and gave Trump the Presidency.
One thing is certain, President Trump is battling a rising tide of those who call him the "Illegitimate" President. How dare anyone try to de-legitimize the presidency...especially his? And yet, no apology for his carrying the anti-Obama Birtherism banner for more than five years. Oh, the irony!
The truth is President Trump's weaknesses far exceed his strengths. Often, his attention span is child-like. He has little time for intelligence briefings or gaining a sense of history about most anything or anyone. However, he loves the adulation from his supporters. Doing the actual work required of the occupant of the Oval Office might well be beyond him. President Trump delegates - a smart management tool - but not the way he does it.
You really need to have an almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge about almost everything when you lead the world's largest democracy. President Obama had that thirst. There's little sign that President Trump has a thirst for anything short of being constantly praised.
How much does he really want the job? He said during a Times of London interview just four days before becoming President: "Day one – which I will consider to be Monday as opposed to Friday or Saturday. Right? I mean my day one is gonna be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration.”
On Inauguration Day, he did sign his first executive order...not affecting Obamacare or immigration as he promised supporters. Rather, with the stroke of his pen he made it harder for millions of Americans to afford a mortgage. I hope the nation's shrinking middle class took note.
Americans have elected lesser lights as President...George W. Bush, for example. But Trump makes President Bush look good...wise...even scholarly. At least "W" had a heart and could show compassion...he could even apologize and mean it. Since announcing his campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated neither a glimmer of compassion nor a shred of decency.
Perhaps President Trump's retaliatory responses to anything he doesn't like is congenital...a DNA defect. I've known him since 1981, and witnessed first-hand his vengeful reactions to those who dared to disagree with him. The President of the United States is a public servant, a concept Donald Trump doesn't really understand...and the job comes with criticism.
His inability to speak more than a few minutes in public without telling a whopper will be his undoing. President Trump only likes those in the news media who can be hand fed...Sean Hannity and others at Fox News...or Breitbart News, the new banner for the White Supremacist movement in America. But, thankfully, most journalists aren't going to put up with nonsense from President Trump or any of his minions.
That's why the Trump White House is making it as difficult as possible for real journalists...by limiting access. Even before the inauguration they talked of moving the White House press corps outside the actual White House. The Trump Administration will find stopping the rising tide of truth like stopping the ocean's tides...impossible.
Politifact, preeminent fact-checking organization and winner of journalism's Pulitzer Prize, is tracking 102 of President Trump's campaign promises on its Trump-O-Meter. It did the same for President Obama - the ObamaMeter - and found that of the 533 promises made during his eight years, he kept 48% of them, compromised in some way on 28%, and broke 24% of them. I'm no Las Vegas handicapper, but I'll go on record here that the Trump-O-Meter will reveal more broken than fulfilled promises.
I will applaud President Trump, even give him a standing ovation, when results come even reasonably close to his boasts. But there are very few signs - none that I see - that give the world hope that he will live up to his words.
And who among reasonable people worldwide doesn't share that sinking feeling that someone, somewhere has real evidence that the 45th President of the United States has done something worthy of resignation or impeachment? Is there a doubt that President Trump's term will end the same as it began...with lies? I can only say, like one of President Trump's own infamous tweets: "Sad!"
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor.