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Donald Trump’s Bizarre Obama Fixation Continues, Part We-Lost-Count, of Infinity

I know it’s hard to even pick them out anymore, but yesterday was a particularly bananas day for the Trump administration (notably including reports of his “joke” that Mike Pence wants to hang gay people), which is usually the case when the man himself is allowed to speak in public—something his staff, no doubt, tries to avoid. They can’t always do it, though, and yesterday his continued fixation with President Obama was put on full display, in all of its shamelessness.

First, there was Trump going on a brief “Obamacare” rant, wherein he said that the press “shouldn’t even mention” the Affordable Care Act anymore, because “it’s gone.” Despite all the actions he’s taken to force the Affordable Care Act into the failure he’s imagined for it for years, it is very much not gone, but the more ridiculous part is how little he can contain his desire for everyone to agree that he delivered on his campaign promise to get rid of it.

Let’s leave aside, for a minute, information indicating that the “Obamacare” premium increases that Trump loves to rant about have very likely been lower than insurance rate increases would’ve been without that law, so people only complain because they don’t know how bad things would’ve been. Let’s also leave aside that his most recent actions to undercut the ACA are only likely to make things worse. Why ignore all that? Because the reality of the situation doesn’t really matter to Trump personally, which is why he responded the way he did.

He’d simply really rather that people just stopped talking about “Obamacare” and instead come around to his own reality, wherein he was successful in his campaign promise of getting rid of it and replacing it with something much better. Somehow, though, attempting to will—and BS—President Obama’s health care overhaul out of existence was only the second most absurd way he targeted his predecessor yesterday.

When answering a question about his silence on four U.S. Green Berets who were killed in action in Niger on October 6, Trump first hemmed and hawed about letters he had written to their families that he said either had gone out or were going to go out last night. Then, he took a swipe at Obama and other former presidents, saying, “If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of ’em didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

People understandably took issue with that—it being demonstrably false—including a former deputy chief of staff of President Obama:

Trump was confronted over the lie in a later question, and he wound up backtracking and saying that he only meant that Obama didn’t call every time, despite that he very clearly and simply said he “didn’t make calls.” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a similar statement, highlighting different actions taken by presidents when soldiers are killed:

But she’s got it exactly backwards in asserting that anyone is saying past presidents “called each family of the fallen.” No one has said that. Trump, however, initially said that Obama (and others) simply did not make such calls and only backtracked on that assertion when pressed on its complete falseness. He’s the one who erroneously made a false blanket statement, fueled by his weird obsession with President Obama.

Just this morning, he doubled down, bringing Chief of Staff John Kelly into the mix:

That’s pretty low, considering it’s entirely not relevant who Obama did and did not literally call on the phone in specific circumstances. Whether or not he called Kelly does nothing to prove whether he ever made such phone calls at all, which was the heart of Trump’s assertion.

(image: Ildar vector /

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