Donald Trump, Sean Spicer, Kelly Ann Conway and a Tale of Eroding Trust
Sean Spicer today used the word “Trust” well over a dozen times in his press conference, at one point using the phrase “erosion of trust” to refer to the reason why Michael Flynn-recently resigned as National Security Adviser- was asked to step down. Several times Spicer also made it a point to say that the legality of the conversation Flynn had with his Russian counterpart was unquestionable. The issue was not whether or not the conversation was legal, but rather whether Flynn could be trusted to be truthful in future situations, when he had failed to do so in this instance.
Pot, meet the kettle. This administration obviously enjoys theatrics, but for Spicer to claim that truth, or honesty have any genuine space in this administration rings less theatrical in nature and more like pure comedy. Spicer himself has recently referred to non existent terrorist attacks in Atlanta, before “correcting” himself (after being questioned) to say Orlando. Kelly Ann Conway also made up a terrorist attack that never happened, in Kentucky, then changed her tune when questioned about it. She also coined the phrase, “alternative facts” which is essentially a way of saying “lie” that Orwell meant to include in 1984, but forgot at the last minute. Trump has made so many statements he has either backpedaled or completely changed his tune on it’s quite literally impossible to be sure what he thinks on a number of issues about which he has spoken at length, from LGBTQ rights to abortion rights, to the use of torture, to military intervention in foreign countries.
In this very same press conference Spicer refers to his words and the words of Nikki Haley in front of the UN as being the President’s words. If this is in fact the case, then how to square the fact that Haley’s statements contradict several things Trump himself has stated in the past, and not a distant past, but a “recent recorded in HD quality” past. If we are to believe that statement, then we can place this confusing mess of a convoluted message directly at Trump’s feet. Everyone in his administration, according to Spicer (who using this logic is speaking directly FOR Trump) speaks on behalf of Donald Trump. Using this logical argument, says Spicer, Trump has been very tough on Russia.
Shall we use this very same logic in the opposite direction? Was Kelly Ann Conway “speaking for the President” then when she went on National Television and gave his daughter’s product line a “free commercial”? Was Pence then speaking for the President, when he gave his word that Flynn had NOT discussed sanctions with his Russian Counterpart? I assume Stephen Miller was speaking for the President when he said that that “the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” I thought the President, according to Spicer and others understood the necessity for the checks and balances presented by the 3 branches of government, at least he said so during his announcement extravaganza for his nomination for Supreme Court Justice… but then he called a Federal judge a “so called” judge… and tweeted out that by fulfilling its obligation and ensuring the constitutionality of laws passed, the court was in fact endangering American lives.
Shall we revisit the question of Trust (capital T) then? How are we to Trust anything that anyone on the Trump administration says? What’s worse, now that I know everything they say can be attributed to Trump himself, how can I possibly trust him? They question the “media’s” ability to tell the truth, and to be trusted? I question every single person in the administration, top to bottom. The inability of Trump’s closest advisers to agree with each other, or the President, along with dozens of blatantly incorrect or wildly hyperbolic and baseless statements made by everyone from the President himself to his cabinet members to his cabinet nominees to his Counselor and his Press Secretary give me absolutely no trust in his ability to perform the task at hand.
This can be illustrated beautifully in one question regarding this Flynn resignation over his “trustworthiness” That is the fact that Spicer and the administration are adamant about stating that the conversation itself was in no way shape or form inappropriate, or illegal. See, this assumption is the most important for them, and the part on which this entire false logic hinges… The only question then becomes, why would Michael Flynn lie about the topic of conversation coming up, if the topic of conversation wasn’t improper or illegal? In fact, why was Pence even asking if the conversation was had, and why was it so important to the administration to tell us loudly, over and over again, that “sanctions were not discussed”?
How can I possibly trust an administration that constantly shifts the truth it stands on in order to distance itself from inconvenient realities presented by their own narrative?!! Nikki Haley’s statement to the UN is such a stark contrast to anything Trump has ever said on the matter that people literally didn’t know how to interpret her statements, and whether or not she was in fact speaking for Trump. Yesterday morning Conway told the press that President Trump had “full confidence” in Flynn, then less than 24 hours later he is asked to resign and Spicer did everything but call him a liar. At one point, when asked, “isn’t that (speaking of sanctions with a Russian diplomat) a hard thing to forget though?” Spicer’s response was to essentially agree with that, and to once again say that the issue was about Trust. Trump literally on the exact same day said, “see you in court”, and then spoke about not appealing the decision, but rather writing a new executive order. If the issue truly is Trust, then we are screwed, because I personally wouldn’t trust this White House administration with a grocery list…