Right at the end of Donald Trump’s “press conference” on Saturday — a thinly-veiled campaign event at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort — one intrepid reporter, CBS’s Paula Reid, attempted to ask the president about why he keeps publicly claiming that he deserves the credit for the “Veterans’ Choice” bill signed into law back in 2014.
It’s a case he’s made more than a hundred times, and it’s never gotten any more true: The bill gave veterans the opportunity to seek care outside the VA when they were unable to get the prompt attention they needed, after years of trying to clean up the bureaucracy that muddled things and slowed appointments at VA offices across the country. But Trump’s attempt to paint that achievement on his own is belied by the fact that Obama signed that bill into law almost exactly six years ago.
Not content to simply say “I did it,” in fact, Trump has repeatedly used the line “nobody was ever able to do it before, and I got it done.” He’s not just taking credit for something Obama did, he’s literally saying that Obama tried and failed to do the thing that he’s now taking credit for.
Of course, Trump cut Reid off and fled the scene, as you might expect a man caught in a lie to do. But CNN’s Victor Blackwell broke down exactly what happened, and what Trump actually gets to take credit for.
It’s not much.
As you can see, Trump was responsible for an expansion of what Obama accomplished, but the groundwork was laid long before he came to power. And that’s been a cornerstone of how Donald Trump has defined the landmarks of his own presidency: If it ever happened and was good, I did it, and no one before me was able to do anything like it.
That’s why Trump ran so fast from that presser — the last thing he needs is for a woman calling him out on a lie he’s told more than a hundred times, right there in front of all his rich pals at the country club.
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