There are many ways to tell if Donald Trump is lying, but one of the most obvious is the "sir story." Sir stories are those anecdotes he tells to puff himself up so he looks competent and presidential. They're always lies. Always.
Here's his latest 'Sir Story." It's part of Chuck Todd's interview with him after he called off the "airstrikes:"
TRUMP: Nothing is green lighted until the very end because things change.
TODD: So you never gave a final order.
TRUMP: No, but we had something ready to go subject to my approval. They came in about a half an hour before and said, sir, we're about ready to I said --
TODD: Were planes in the air?
TRUMP: No, we're about ready to go.* No, but they would have been pretty soon and things would have happened to a point where you wouldn't turn back or couldn't turn back. So they came and they said, 'Sir, we're ready to go, we'd like a decision.' I said I want to know something before you go. How many people will be killed? In this case Iranians. I said How many people are going to be killed? '
'Sir, I'd like to get back to you on that.' Great people, these generals. They said -- came back and said, 'Sir, approximately 150.' And I thought about it for a second. You know what, they shot down an unmanned drone, plane whatever you want to call it, and here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead. I didn't like it. I didn't think it was proportionate.
Donald Trump never intended to strike Iran, and his 'sir story' there is a dead giveaway. Even Chuck Todd knows it.
On Velshi & Ruhle Friday, Todd told viewers exactly what was going on.
"[Trump] wants everything in front of him.," he explained. "He wanted John Bolton to push the envelope. He likes all of that. He likes this idea that he makes the final call. And in that sense, this is actually very much how he always operates whether it is a decision about painting Air Force One or a decision about this. He likes to get all of these options in front of him and be the decider on these things."
"In some way, I know there is been -- he should have known about the casualty counts earlier," Todd added.
Indeed. But again, that was a "sir story" and it's unlikely he ever asked the question, because the one thing we all know is that Donald Trump does not worry about body counts as much as he worries about his own hide.
And then Chuck Todd dropped the truth bomb. He's absolutely right, too. "I don't think he ever planned on giving the green light," he said.
Here's another dead giveaway that he never meant for the strikes to happen: Congressional leaders were not notified. Nancy Pelosi told reporters she received no heads up that there was a strike in the works. "Maybe the other leaders did from the other side," she said, "but I did not see anything and that would be a departure."
Well of COURSE she didn't, and it's unlikely any other leaders did either, because he staged this whole thing as carefully as one of his Nuremberg-style rallies to be sure that when he appeared on the "liberal network" he'd come off as the peace-loving leader who always thinks about the human toll before taking action.
The cynical use of our armed forces for the self-aggrandizing dual goals of distracting from the growing calls for his impeachment and the extent of his corruption ahead of an interview on NBC News is exactly what everyone should expect from this narcissistic man-child. Good that Chuck Todd actually said aloud what we all know, but did he do it to Trump's face? I seriously doubt it.
Will anyone? Or will the cable networks continue to yammer on about how he should have known about the casualty count but oh, boy, thank goodness he didn't actually allow those airstrikes to happen no matter the reason. Of course he didn't. Because he never intended to! It was just a carefully orchestrated stunt from the Reality Show King.
Shame. Shame. Shame.
*FACT CHECK: Planes were indeed in the air.