During today’s presidential press conference Donald Trump’s narrative bore little relation to objective reality. But possibly the most egregious falsehood was the one Mr. Trump fabricated out of whole cloth about a meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings.
BY MARK HENSCH
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) says President Trump invented a story about him cancelling a scheduled meeting between them.
“I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today,” he said in a statement Thursday, according to NBC News.
Trump recounted a planned huddle with Cummings that ultimately fell through during a press conference earlier Thursday.
“I was all set to have that meeting,” he said at the White House. "We called him and called him. I spoke to him on the phone and he wanted it.”
“[Cummings] was all excited and then he said, ‘Oh, I can’t move it,’” Trump recounted. "'It might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting.’”
“He was probably told by Schumer – or some other lightweight – ‘don’t meet with Trump, it’s bad politics.' That’s part of the problem in this country.”
Cummings disputed Trump’s account later Thursday, insisting he remains eager to discuss “the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs” with the president.
Full Transcript and Video: Trump News Conference
TRUMP: Let’s go set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus. I think it’s great. I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman Cummings and he was all excited. And then he said, well, I can’t move, it might be bad for me politically. I can’t have that meeting.
I was all set to have the meeting. You know, we called him and called him. And he was all set. I spoke to him on the phone, very nice guy.
QUESTION: I hear he wanted that meeting with you as well.
TRUMP: He wanted it, but we called, called, called and can’t make a meeting with him. Every day I walk and say I would like to meet with him because I do want to solve the problem. But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight. He was probably told — he was probably told “don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics.”
And that’s part of the problem in this country. OK, one more.
Here’s Rep. Elijah Cummings complete response to Trump’s fabrication on his office's website (emphasis from original) .
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 16, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s press conference:
“I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today. Of course, Senator Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the President.
“I was actually looking forward to meeting with the President about the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. What I have been doing for the past several weeks is working closely with my partner on these efforts, Senator Bernie Sanders. My goal was to finalize our proposal to allow HHS to negotiate lower drug prices so I could present it to the President. The President has said many times that he supports this proposal, so I wanted to have our bill ready to get his support.
“I also sincerely have no idea why the President made this claim in response to an unrelated question about the Congressional Black Caucus. I am sure members of the CBC can answer these questions for themselves.
“The skyrocketing price of prescription drugs is an issue that affects every American family—not just people of color—and I hope the President will make good on his promise to finally allow HHS to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of American families. I look forward to meeting with him on this issue and others.”
After being elected President, Donald Trump warned that the pharmaceutical industry is “getting away with murder.”
He has said that Americans could save hundreds of billions of dollars if Medicare were allowed to negotiate prices directly with drug companies. “We don’t do it,” he said. “Why? Because of the drug companies.”
He also said: “We need new bidding procedures for the drug industry.” He added: “Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and power. There is very little bidding on drugs.”
The most chilling aspect of this is Donald Trump may even beleive his own nonsense.
That would make him delusional. There is one slightly more palatable explanation: Trump thinks Americans aren’t smart enough to figure out he’s lying.