Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He told a face-saving lie about defections from his CEO advisory panels.

After several days of increasingly embarrassing resignations from two advisory councils over his response to the terrorist murder in Charlottesville, Trump tweeted today at 11:14 A.M. that he was disbanding them

This was a lie, at least with respect to his "Strategy and Policy Forum." That group had decided to disband itself in protest, and informed Trump of its decision before his tweet. Only after that discussion had concluded did Trump announced that he was disbanding it, along with his "American Manufacturing Council," which was also rapidly shedding members. 

Prior to his Tuesday press conference, at which he declared that "some very fine people" were marching on the side of neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, Trump took a much less magnanimous approach to resignations from the panels. He called the CEOs who resigned "grandstanders" and insisted that "For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place." 

Why is this a problem?

  • Given that most of the members of these panels freely admitted they were only taking part for the access it gave them to Trump, it's pretty stunning that it was even possible for them to resign in protest.
  • Past a certain point, an inability to handle or even acknowledge criticism becomes pathological.
  • It is wrong to lie.