Sure, Donald Trump changes his stories a lot, but this might be his whopper

Gilead

Competitive authoritarian regime project


Fig. 1. President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Clarence Mitchell during signing ceremony of the voting rights act. Yoichi Okamoto, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy

Amber Phillips, “Takeaways from Biden’s warnings about Republican threats to democracy,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/01/biden-democracy-speech-takeaways/

Greg Sargent, “MAGA Republicans are seething with rage because Biden hit his target,” Washington Post, September 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/02/biden-speech-philadelphia-trump-maga-republicans-democracy/

White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)


Fig. 2. A Ku Klux Klan meeting in Gainesville, Florida, Dec. 31, 1922, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Lauren Gambino, “Biden warns US democracy imperiled by Trump and Maga extremists,” Guardian, September 1, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/01/biden-speech-philadelphia-extremist-republicans-threaten-democracy

Amber Phillips, “Takeaways from Biden’s warnings about Republican threats to democracy,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/01/biden-democracy-speech-takeaways/

Greg Sargent, “MAGA Republicans are seething with rage because Biden hit his target,” Washington Post, September 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/02/biden-speech-philadelphia-trump-maga-republicans-democracy/

Donald Trump

Coup attempt


Fig. 3. Department of Justice photograph of seized materials, reportedly partially redacted, via the Washington Post, August 31, 2022, public domain.[5]

Donald Trump in 2016, while running for the presidency:

In my administration, I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.

One of the first things we must do is to enforce all classification rules and to enforce all laws relating to the handling of classified information.[6]

Trump’s story is a little different now:

[Donald] Trump acknowledged in a court filing Wednesday that classified material was found at Mar-a-Lago in January, but argued that it should not have been cause for alarm — and should not have led to the search of Trump’s Florida residence earlier this month.[7]

I continue to notice fewer Trump flags and yard signs. They still exist, of course, but in far smaller numbers than before the Mar-a-Lago search.[8] We will, also of course, continue to hear the superheated rhetoric from Trump’s remaining supporters. But I think there’s a real question how many actually believe it.

Mariana Alfaro and Eugene Scott, “Judge’s openness to special master for Mar-a-Lago documents raises new questions in criminal probe,” Washington Post, August 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/08/29/special-master-trump-biden-pennsylvania/

Devlin Barrett, “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents already examined by FBI, Justice Dept. tells judge,” Washington Post, August 29, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/29/trumpspecial-master-documents/

Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022, https://www.mediaite.com/news/drudge-puts-trump-in-an-orange-jumpsuit-as-site-monitors-his-potential-indictment/

William Rivers Pitt, “An Enron-Inspired Law May Be a Sharper Legal Threat to Trump Than Espionage Act,” Truthout, August 30, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/an-enron-inspired-law-may-be-a-sharper-legal-threat-to-trump-than-espionage-act/

Austin Sarat and Dennis Aftergut, “Americans are starting to get it: we can’t let Trump – or Trumpism – back in office,” Guardian, August 30, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/30/trump-republicans-voters-midterms-democrats

Ishaan Tharoor, “The debate over American fascism gets louder,” Washington Post, August 30, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/08/30/fascism-biden-trump-american-history/

Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-documents-removed-storage-room/

Perry Stein et al., “Justice filing points to new legal trouble for Trump and lawyers, experts say,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-lawyers-legal-jeopardy/

Jennifer Rubin, “Former GOP Justice lawyers: Trump’s in a heap of trouble,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/01/republican-lawyers-trump-documents/

Amber Phillips, “Takeaways from Biden’s warnings about Republican threats to democracy,” Washington Post, September 1, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/01/biden-democracy-speech-takeaways/

Greg Sargent, “MAGA Republicans are seething with rage because Biden hit his target,” Washington Post, September 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/02/biden-speech-philadelphia-trump-maga-republicans-democracy/

Eric Tucker, “Trump search inventory released, reveals new details on docs,” Associated Press, September 2, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-government-and-politics-6bd103a8e418166b17a34d77e8d9102d

Andrew Kaczynski and Samantha Woodward, “Donald Trump has repeatedly called for lengthy jail sentences for those who he claimed mishandled classified information,” CNN, September 3, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/03/politics/trump-jail-sentences-mishandled-classified-information-kfile/index.html


  1. [5]Devlin Barrett, “Justice Dept. says Trump team may have hidden, moved classified papers,” Washington Post, August 31, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/31/trump-documents-removed-storage-room/
  2. [6]Donald Trump, quoted in Andrew Kaczynski and Samantha Woodward, “Donald Trump has repeatedly called for lengthy jail sentences for those who he claimed mishandled classified information,” CNN, September 3, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/03/politics/trump-jail-sentences-mishandled-classified-information-kfile/index.html
  3. [7]Andrew Kaczynski and Samantha Woodward, “Donald Trump has repeatedly called for lengthy jail sentences for those who he claimed mishandled classified information,” CNN, September 3, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/03/politics/trump-jail-sentences-mishandled-classified-information-kfile/index.html
  4. [8]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, August 30, 2022, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/

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