We all knew this moment would come.
Donald Trump, a serial, pathological liar, faced with an international crisis, would need to communicate a message to the world about that crisis and we would have to choose rather or not to believe him.
Thursday night, without the very congressional approval that Trump once said Obama needed to strike Syria, he ordered airstrikes on a Syrian airfield, reportedly in retaliation for recent chemical attacks against citizens in the country. Trump said it was when he saw the images of children dying and suffering from the attacks on television that he decided he must act.
I don't believe him. Not even a little bit.
I don't believe he cares about kids in Syria. He never has. Thousands of children have died in Syria over the past few years and Trump has never, not once, expressed compassion toward them.
More than that, though, Donald Trump's most signature executive order, to ban Muslims and refugees from entering this country, particularly those from Syria, is much more representative of how he truly feels about Syrian children.
In his presidential campaign, when Trump announced that he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, the national outcry highlighted how inhumane it would be to ban Syrian refugees, particularly women and children, as they fled for their lives. Trump was not moved.
After he was elected President, Trump never relented, and signed a foolish executive order banning Syrian refugees again. When it was repeatedly defeated in court, Trump continue to defend the order. When it became clear that his first executive order simply had no constitutional ground to stand on, he issued another one, which still targeted Syrian refugees. And again, the courts have continued to strike down the order.
Donald Trump does not give a damn about Syrian women or children or refugees. He has made that abundantly clear.
The notion that he can simultaneously bomb a nation because he cares about their kids, while banning those very kids from entering our nation, is preposterous. It's a con job. It's unethical and gross. The two practices cannot simultaneously exist. They are mutually exclusive.
Politifact, the non-partisan, Pulitzer Prize winning fact checking organization, has determined that Donald Trump is the most dishonest politician they've ever evaluated. Of the unique statements he has made, 70% have been deemed to be some sort of lie. Of the 30% remaining, most of those statements were deemed to be at least partially dishonest as well - leaving only 4% of what Trump has said to be completely true.
That means the man tells some sort of falsehood 96% of the time. Only a fool would believe the words that come out of his mouth. He is the most dishonest President in American history. He may be the most dishonest person in this country. If anyone else lied 96% of the time that words came out of their mouth, we would sincerely assume they had mental health challenges. If he makes 100 statements, 96 of them are at least somewhat dishonest. That is not normal. He is not normal.
So, when he says these airstrikes were motivated by his compassion for Syrian children, I don't think that statement falls in his tiny 4% window of truth. I just don't. The man lies about the weather. No literally, he said God wouldn't let it rain at his inauguration. It rained at his inauguration.
I could speculate on what Trump's real motivations were for ordering the airstrikes in Syria.
Maybe he did it in the hope that it would reverse his tanking approval ratings. Maybe he did it, on the same day that his buddy Devin Nunes stepped aside from the House Intelligence Committee investigation into Trump and Russia, to take the focus and heat off of so much bad news. Maybe he did it in a deal with Russia, a staunch supporter of Assad, to make the world think that Trump and Russia aren't in cahoots.
I don't know. I just know that when Trump says 2+2 = 4, I evaluate it myself before believing it.
What is Trump's actual strategy in Syria? Why did he not seek congressional approval?
I ask these questions as someone who actually cares about the kids in Syria. I have advocated for them for years. I have donated to charities that care for them. I have fought for them to be given greater access to our country. I want to see them defended and protected.
I just don't trust Trump. I never have. I never will.