Belfast Telegraph

It's such a relief that the well-known fact-checker Donald Trump has finally come out against fake news

By Mark Steel

Many commentators have made lengthy criticisms of the points made by Donald Trump as he prepares to become US president, but I don't see how they can feel so certain.

Because most of his speeches consist of sentences such as: "I have never met with President Putin, but he's a great guy and we hung out when we had the Miss Universe competition. That was a great success with great girls, and this is why if you ever say I met President Putin, I'll put you in jail because I only ever met him five times. It's a disgrace that some of our news channels say I've met a guy when there's no evidence I ever met him except when we did a lot of business together with some cracking girls I never saw."

His Press conference followed a similar style, with statements like: "I've got a great team and, hey, we're going to get America eating pelicans again and some of those folks who said it can't be done better believe it's being done and we've been eating too much pelican in China, and no one mentions all the pelicans in China, and they're bringing jobs to Michigan as that's a lot of beaks, huge beaks that need making, which is great and why do we never hear that on the news channels?"

He did explain some of his policies, such as who's going to pay for the wall along the border with Mexico, saying: "Mexico in some form, and there are many different forms, will reimburse us, whether it's a payment, probably less likely that it's a payment."

I think this is similar to the deal offered by Wickes bathrooms. But the main thing is, this is the clear plain talking we've been demanding from politicians for years.

Asked who he thought was responsible for hacking into secret American emails, he answered, "Russia and China and everybody". That shows whatever else you can complain about, you can't fault his grasp of detail.

It could lead to some mild confusion during his first weeks in office, as the FBI are asked to arrest Russia and China and everybody. But these sorts of problems are to be expected when you're "draining the swamp" like Trump.

All this was said behind an enormous pile of papers, which he described as "the papers I have signed turning my company over to my sons".

Because he's so determined to be refreshingly honest, with not a hint of suspicion his decisions might be influenced by his business interests, he's placed them with people entirely neutral and independent: his own family.

At one point he repeated several times, "We don't do good deals anymore", which shows Trump is so anti-Establishment that instead of preparing his speeches in the normal elitist way, he seems to record things he's shouted in his sleep, then announce them.

At the inauguration his speech will start, "There's a peanut on my golf course, now fetch me a towel, Nikita", then the entertainment will be the theme from Rocky hummed by Katie Hopkins.

He did answer a couple of questions directly.

Asked about the allegations involving Russian prostitutes, he said: "These reports are a disgrace, they're made up ... fake news."

You can see why this would make him so angry, as Trump is especially thorough with facts and only makes statements that he saw Muslims celebrating the attacks on the Twin Towers, or that he knows 650 million immigrants are coming to America within a year, when he's checked and checked again that he's made it up.

But it might not harm him as much as people expect, even if the stories turn out to be true. Liberal people think, "Ha ha, this has got to finish him now", but he's changed the rules. So, Trump would say the American people should be proud as he got a really good deal off the Russian women, the sort we don't do anymore, and his approval ratings would go up by 9%.

Because the main liberal complaint against Trump is he doesn't do things the way things are meant to be done.

Press conferences are supposed to be slickly arranged and amiable and inaugurations are supposed to be full of actresses and poets.

Politicians are supposed to be reassuring when there's a banking crash, then assure you everything's fine as millions lose their jobs and homes, but Trump doesn't bother with that, so he manages to claim he's radical.

This can make Trump seem more frightening than he is, because there appear to be no limits to his craziness. When I heard Rolf Harris was in the news again this week, it was reasonable to think: "Oh, no. Trump hasn't made him Secretary of State for Defence, has he?"

It may be that the most effective opposition to him is to acknowledge that the country is falling apart, but Trump might be blaming the wrong people, as the financial crash probably wasn't caused by Mexicans sneaking across the border, gambling billions of dollars on selling debts and mortgages, then sneaking back again, singing: "We'd never have got away with it if there was a wall here, yaya yaya yaaaa."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph