When White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders took to the podium for the first time in over a month on Monday, she opened, unsurprisingly, with a lie: that President Donald Trump’s new budget keeps his promises.
Of course, it doesn’t, and it can’t — in part because Trump’s budgetary promises were basically contradictory.
So when Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office of Budget and Management, was pressed on one of these lies, he had to fall back on a common Republican deflection strategy: blame President Barack Obama.
One reporter noted that the president had promised to “eliminate the national debt in eight years.”
“The president has added historically large numbers to the national debt instead of keeping a promise to pay it off?” the reporter asked.
“The last administration nearly doubled the national debt,” Vought responded — failing to note that Obama took office in the midst of a financial crisis of historic proportions, while Trump entered the White House in a time of relative economic strength. He also failed to note that when Trump made his promise, the prior administration’s impact on the budget was already clear — so it wasn’t some surprise the current White House had to react to.
“When this president ran for office, he made a commitment to the American people that he would attempt to tackle the debt with eight years,” Vought continued. “This president did that the very first year he came into office by sending forth a budget that balanced within ten years and had more spending reductions than any in history.”
Of course, this just flatly admits that Trump didn’t live up to his promise. Trump didn’t promise to “attempt” to pay off the debt, he promised to do it. He promised to pay it down in eight years, not merely “tackle” it in ten. Vought’s reference to “balancing” the budget, anyway, would mean eliminating the yearly deficits, not the debt, which is the aggregation of each year’s deficits. And crafting a budget is essentially meaningless anyway if you can’t work with the other branches of government to actually enact the measures that would achieve your promises.
The basic problem is that Trump is a fraud who made absurd promises, and now his lackeys have to bend of backward to try to defend them. And apparently, the best idea they got is to blame Obama.
Watch the clip below:
.@jonkarl: Trump promised he would eliminate the debt in 8 years. It's actually growing. What happened to that promise?
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 11, 2019
Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro pushes political incorrectness to the limit
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro regularly offends opponents with political incorrectness and far-right diatribes, but he is taking heavier fire than usual for suggesting a respected journalist tried to get dirt on him with offers of sex.
The man dubbed the "Tropical Trump" has racked up a long list of controversial remarks over the years: he has praised the use of torture by Brazil's former military dictatorship; he once told a lawmaker he opposed she "wasn't worth raping"; he has said he would rather see his sons die than come out as gay.
But this week's firestorm has been big, even by his standards.
‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump
In the wake of Roger Stone's sentencing of 3.5 years in prison this Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano posited that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's choice to go along with Attorney General Bill Barr's sentencing recommendation could have been an effort to pardon-proof the sentence from President Trump.
"[Jackson's] trying to make this bulletproof from a pardon," Napolitano said. "Because she went along exactly with what [Barr] requested."
Adam Schiff sends signal that a Roger Stone pardon would be another impeachable offense
Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that a presidential pardon for Roger Stone would be an impeachable offense.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the longtime Republican operative to 40 months in prison, saying Stone had lied to Congress and threatened a witness to cover up possible wrongdoing by President Donald Trump -- and Schiff sent a warning against a pardon.
"Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness," Schiff tweeted.
Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry and trial, agreed with Jackson -- whose language echoed the lawmaker's "corrupt scheme and cover-up" indictment during the Senate trial.