As president, and before, Donald Trump acts entirely too much like crazed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Both are embarrassing to the republic.
A judge just granted summary judgment against two authors who wrote an entire book perpetuating the vicious claim of conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Alex Jones, that the infamous school shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut never occurred, but was an operation by federal officials to increase support for gun control.
At roughly the same time, the judge in a related case sanctioned attorneys for Jones in a bizarre set of events that is the apotheosis of Jones style insanity. Jones’ lawyers sent documents as evidence in the case to the attorneys for the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s attorneys discovered child pornography among the files they received and notified the FBI. After the attorneys reported this event to the judge in the case, Jones went on a rant on his TV show, accusing the plaintiff’s attorneys of trying to frame him and claiming that the plaintiff’s attorneys had planted the child pornography in an attempt to frame Jones and his lawyers.
The judge watched a recording of the broadcast and issued the sanctions as a result.
In terms of irresponsibility and stupidity, Jones’ claims are too similar to various claims Donald Trump has made, both before becoming president and since. The key, unfortunate difference, is that Trump is not involved in litigation that would allow a judge to review and evaluate his various ridiculous assertions and sanction him for his lies and allegations.
So, soon after the 2016 election, when he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, he said, without evidence, that voter fraud was widespread and explained the popular vote total. This assertion obviously always reflected only Trump’s fervid, fragile ego, not any reality, but he still impaneled a commission whose alleged mission was to investigate the supposedly common problem of voter fraud. The commission demanded extensive information about voters from states, which most states refused to provide, leading Trump to disband it.
Trump also claimed in March 2017 that President Obama had “wiretapped” his office. In April 2019, he stated that he was surprised at the reaction to the claim, asserting that the strong response suggested that people, including in the Obama administration and the FBI reacted vehemently because “they were caught.” He said he based the allegation on “just on a little bit of a hunch or a little wisdom,” which is a Trumpian, self-flattering way of saying that he totally made it up.
He continues to repeat the absurd lie that the Chinese pay the tariffs he has imposed on various products we import from there. This is wrong. Even one of his own economic advisers has admitted that the tariffs become increased prices for the products, which U.S. consumers have to pay.
But perhaps Trump’s most Jones-like lie, and one that most clearly reveals his unrepentant racism, is his repeated assertion that the Central Park Five, young men who endured wrongful conviction for a rape in 1989, were actually guilty, even after the real culprit admitted the crime and DNA evidence confirmed his guilt. At the time, Trump took out full page ads in multiple news papers denouncing the defendants and advocating the return of the death penalty for them. In the past few months, a new documentary about the whole imbroglio, prominently featuring Trump’s claims from his own mouth, have prompted reporters to ask him new questions about it.
More recently, following on the new documentary, a reporter asked him about his earlier statements and if he intended to apologize to the young men for what he said. He replied with one of his favorite dodges, saying “You have people on both sides of that. They admitted their guilt.” Jones at least claimed to have apologized for his TV rant about the plaintiff’s lawyer in his suit, although the judge said she could find no apology in the segment he claimed contained one.
Happily, Trump’s rigid, ego based opinions have no legal impact. They only serve to remind us how embarrassing it is to have a petulant, childish overgrown boy as president of the United States.