Trump Faces Scrutiny Over Personal Properties, Hurricane Lies: A Closer Look


-The President’s ongoing
break from reality continued this morning
on Twitter, as we learned more
about his insistence that Hurricane Dorian
was gonna hit Alabama. For more on this,
it’s time for “A Closer Look.” [ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪ Well, it’s another Monday
in the Trump era, which means we all awoke
to another fever dream of cruelty, stupidity,
and corruption. Just in the last few days,
the President launched a deranged attack on John Legend
and Chrissy Teigen, a House panel is investigating
the military’s use of Trump-owned property
in Scotland, the President
ignited bipartisan fury when he announced
that he invited the Taliban to Camp David just days before
the anniversary of 9/11 while simultaneously
canceling that meeting and upending months
of delicate peace talks. And he attacked former South
Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who announced
a primary challenge against him by trying to remind people
that Sanford had an affair with a woman in Argentina, tweeting that Sanford
was found in Argentina with his
“Flaming Dancer friend.” Now, we think he meant
to type “flamingo” dancer, which also would have been wrong
because it’s “Flamenco” dancer, which also would have been wrong
because there is no evidence Sanford’s former mistress
had ever been a flamenco dancer. It’s like a seven-layer dip
of presidential insanity. It’s stupid stacked
on top of stupid stacked on top of stupid
and then I guess guacamole. [ Laughter ] Also, I’d like to remind
everyone — everyone — this is not the first time Trump has gotten details
of this story wrong. To explain his disappearance when he was having the affair
back in 2009, Sanford famously claimed he had been hiking
the Appalachian Trail. Trump has tried
to mock him for that before, but he’s gotten that detail
wrong, as well, and he did it again today. -Mr. Tallahassee Trail.
Or Appalachian Trail. He’s the Appalachian Trail,
right? The Tallahassee Trail
is nice, too, but I think he was
the Appalachian Trail. Never liked him too much. I wasn’t a big fan. The Tallahassee Trail.
Must be a beautiful place. Unfortunately,
he didn’t go there. He was supposed to be
vacationing on the Tallahassee Trail, but he was actually
in Argentina. I don’t know. Jim, do they have a
Tallahassee Trail in Argentina? -No, they don’t. They — They don’t have one
in Tallahassee. It doesn’t exist. The Tallahassee Trail
sounds like the name of a chain restaurant
where they let you throw peanut shells on the floor. And, by the way, almost
everything I just told you about happened before 8:00 a.m.
this morning. It’s hard enough to process all
this insanity in an entire day, but it’s worse when you haven’t
even had your coffee yet. I never thought I’d say this
to a president, but, please, sleep in. We need to take one of those
dumb novelty T-shirts that says “Don’t talk to me
until I’ve had my coffee” and pass it into law. [ Laughter ] And while all… [ Cheers and applause ] While all of this was happening,
Trump was also continuing his use of the presidency
to enrich himself. Last week,
Trump reportedly encouraged Vice President Mike Pence
to stay at his golf resort in Ireland, and, on Friday,
it was reported that an Air Force crew made a
stop at Trump’s Scottish resort. Democrats are investigating
whether these obviously corrupt practices violate
the Constitution, so Trump lashed out again
this morning on Twitter, distancing himself
from both incidents. -“I had nothing to do
with the decision of our great vice president,
Mike Pence, to stay overnight at one of the Trump-owned
resorts in Doonbeg, Ireland.” -“I know nothing
about an Air Force plane landing in an airport,
which I don’t own and have nothing to do with it,
near Turnberry Resort, which I do own, in Scotland,
and filling up with fuel, with the crew staying overnight
at Turnberry. They have good taste.
NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.” -Wow. He is tap dancing faster
than a flaming dancer. Also, you can’t
just tweet in all caps “NOTHING TO DO WITH ME” right after you admit
they stayed at your hotel and you put in parentheses
“they have good taste.” He’s like a guy who gets caught
on camera robbing a liquor store and says, “That’s not me, but whoever it is
is very handsome.” [ Laughter ] And it’s not just the Air Force
and the Vice President who are helping line
Trump’s pockets. It was also reported last week
that Attorney General Bill Barr had booked Trump’s hotel
for a $30,000 holiday party. Trump was asked about all
the money flowing from taxpayers to his private businesses
last week and once again claimed
he had nothing to do with it while also taking
the opportunity to advertise his resorts. -Can you speak to,
um, your involvement in the Vice President’s plans to stay at a Trump property
in Ireland? -Well, I had no involvement,
other than it’s a great place. It’s Doonbeg. I own it.
It’s in Ireland. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful.
I don’t suggest anything. I don’t suggest it, nor did I
with the Attorney General. I never spoke to the Attorney
General about using my hotel. I have a lot of hotels
all over the place, and people use them
because they’re the best. I mean, you know,
they’re the best. But, uh, he’s using the hotel. And, uh… People like my product.
What can I tell you? Can’t help it. But, uh, you know,
and I guess they say, “We want to stay at a place that’s better
than someplace else.” -Well, that is really
quite the endorsement. Sandals should steal
that slogan. Sandals — a place that’s better
than someplace else. [ Cheers and applause ] Of course, all of this — All of this comes after
Trump spent the entire week lying about a hurricane
and insisting that it was gonna hit Alabama,
going even so far as to alter an official forecast
with a Sharpie. Now, we — we don’t want
to keep talking about this. We would have been happy
to just let this go as another one of the million
dumb things Trump has done. We talked about it on Thursday,
had a few days off, and figured we’d wake up
to a new day of fresh crimes
and flaming dancers, but Trump
keeps talking about it, and, as we all know, once Trump
gets called out for a lie, he will not stop
until he gets the last word. Everything else
has to grind to a halt while we watch this
sweaty weirdo bark at reporters and insist that he’s correct
by tweeting nonstop or doing that thing
where he points at his own brain to show us all how smart he is. “They did a CAT scan of my brain
and said it was huge. Here. Let me show you a photo.” [ Laughter ] I mean, look at him. [ Cheers and applause ] This looks like the start
of a kids’ video called “Head, Shoulders, Knees,
and I Can’t Reach My Toes.” But Trump initially pretended he had no idea
who defaced his hurricane map. Well, it won’t surprise you
to learn that after the “Washington Post”
did some digging, they found out
who the culprit was. It was Trump
who used the black Sharpie to mark up an official National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration map, which he displayed
during an Oval Office briefing on Wednesday according
to a White House official who spoke on the condition
of anonymity. No one else writes like that
on a map with a black Sharpie. It’s amazing to me that reporters actually
had to spend time on this. They actually had to call up
anonymous sources and get them to reveal
who the Sharpie culprit was. It’s like Watergate, except
Trump is his own Deep Throat. He’s Cheap Throat. “Don’t worry. We don’t need
to pay for a new map. I’ll just draw on it
with a Sharpie. Everyone
will think it’s real.” It’s probably what he did
for each of Eric’s birthdays. Now, Trump has tried to muddy
the waters and confuse everyone by making this
as complicated as possible, so let’s keep it very simple — last Sunday, September 1st, Trump tweeted that Alabama
will most likely be hit much harder than anticipated
and then 20 minutes later, the National Weather Service
in Birmingham, Alabama, tweeted, “Alabama will not see
any impacts from Dorian,” and as we learned this weekend, that correction wasn’t the
National Weather Service going out of their way
to embarrass Trump. They had to issue that
correction specifically in response to Alabama residents who were freaked out
by the President’s tweet. The Washington Post reported that the Birmingham office sent
the tweet after receiving
a flurry of phone calls from concerned residents
following Trump’s message. We’re now at the point where the President
is scaring people for no reason. He is basically
the WebMD of presidents. He said no matter — No matter what symptom… [ Applause ] No matter what symptom
you type in, the response says, “Sounds bad.
You’re probably gonna die.” Seriously, think about that. People were calling because the President said
they might be in danger, and instead of reassuring them
after he was corrected, he doubled down. It’s like if you stood up
in a crowded theater and yelled “fire,” and then
a theater employee said, “Everyone calm down.
There’s no fire.” And instead of apologizing, you took out a can of gasoline
and a match and said, “Well, there’s one now.” But the craziest and most
dangerous part of all of this is that Trump has now involved
other parts of the government in his war on reality. Just today we learned that
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened firings at NOAA
after Trump Dorian tweets. That comes after NOAA staff were
instructed not to contradict the President’s Sharpie
hurricane forcast, and on top of that,
Trump has entire party in lockstep with him. Just yesterday,
Republican Senator Roy Blount dismissed Trump’s
compulsive lying, although he seemed to pause when asked if Americans
could trust the President. -Should the American public
take the President at his word when he speaks? -Well, the President
communicates differently than anybody else has ever before —
-You’ve said that before. -As a candidate, he — the —
the American public — -He’s President
of the United States, and when he issues a —
politicizing the weather. I mean, is there anything left? -Well, I-I-I actually — I’ve spent most of this month
at home in Missouri, uh, and I don’t —
I think this — this whole Sharpie thing
is way being over-played. -Are you worried
that the credibility of the words of the
President of the United States has been eroded? -No. [ Laughter ] -It should not take you
that long to answer when someone asks you if the
President you support is a liar. That’s like a husband
who just got back from a guys trip to Vegas. “Did you have fun, honey?”
“Yeah.” “Did you get a lap dance?” “No.” [ Laughter ] And then there’s Fox News,
and entire propaganda network that, with few exceptions,
reinforces the President’s deranged alternate reality
on a daily basis then denies obvious facts
that are plain to our eyes. In fact, just last month
an anchor on Fox Business actually insisted
during an interview with one of Trump’s Republican
primary challengers that the President
has never told a lie. -I’m running
against this President because I believe he lies virtually every time
he opens his mouth. You know that, too. -No, I do not.
-I believe he’s morally unfit. -I do not know that.
Don’t impute — Do not impute that
to me, Joe Walsh. -And I believe it is a danger
to this country. Stuart, do you believe
this President lies? -No. -You don’t believe
he’s ever lied? -He exaggerates and spins. -Yeah, those are other ways
of saying he lies. Do Fox News anchors keep a
thesaurus with them at all times for moments like this? “Does the President lie?”
“No, he… beguiles, obfuscates,
prevaricates, and dissembles.” Also, it’s very hard
to come off as a moron when you’re a guy with a British
accent using the word “impute,” but, somehow,
this guy managed to do it. Although, if Brexit
has taught us anything, it’s that British people
are just as prone to putting dummies
in charge as we are, like this dummy. -Do you know the caution? Do you know what you have to say
when you — when you — when you —
when you call on someone? You do not have to say anything. Is that right? Anything you — No, but if you fail
to mention something… which you later… rely on — Hang on, let’s get this right. You remember it? They all know it. Which you late– Which you later
rely on in court… may be… taken into account… Anyway, you get the gist. [ Laughter ] -I don’t know. I don’t know if we did
get the gist. I mean, that’s their — Their Prime Minister is like if Donald Trump had
one of those GPS settings where you could just switch him
to a British accent. [ Laughter ] [ British accent ]
“I think the best way, uh, for Britain out
of the European Union is, uh, through
the Tallahassee Trail.” [ Normal voice ]
Although my favorite, favorite Boris Johnson clip
from this last week, hands down, has to be this one. -Please leave my town.
-I will very soon. [ Laughter ] -That might be the most British
thing I’ve ever seen. “Good day, sir. Now, please do [bleep] off.
Cheerio.” Americans, of course,
we are slightly less polite. -Mr. President, [bleep] you! [ Laughter ] The British one — The British one was good… but I do like
the American remake. The President of the
United States isn’t just lying. He’s concocting elaborate
fantasies to defend those lies, strong arming the rest of his
government to justify those lies and relying on the support
of an entire political party and right-wing media apparatus
to spread those lies. It might seem trivial when it’s just about
Sharpies or flaming dancers, but Trump’s war on reality also has real consequences
for real people. At this point, we’d be much
better off if, instead of being President, Trump just spent
his time hiking… -The Tallahassee Trail. -This has been A Closer Look. [ Cheers and applause ]

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