How many times has Donald Trump asked us, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” Or tried to walk back remarks by claiming the words he used did not mean what they normally mean. You know, it was a matter of semantics.
Well, it happened again yesterday when the Trump campaign demanded media outlets retract reports tear gas was used to disperse the crowd in Lafayette Park so Trump could show the American people he was strong enough to lift a book. A spokesman for the U.S. Parks Police claimed their weapons of choice were “smoke canisters and pepper balls.” Too bad they did not check with the CDC first which defines tear gas as “an umbrella term for various non-lethal riot control agents, including pepper spray.”
As legendary sportscaster Warner Wolf would say, “Roll the video tape.” There was the visual evidence. Protesters with watery eyes. Individuals splashing water in their faces to dilute the irritant. The only thing missing was Kellyanne Conway promoting the alternative fact these people were Trump supporters crying for joy because her boss stood up to those thugs and anarchists who had no respect for the rule of law.
It makes a person wonder whether there are similar explanations for other Trump gaffes or incriminating comments. Let’s take one example, the infamous Access Hollywood tape. I know, you thought he was talking about himself when he said, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” But sometimes, interruptions in audio transmission can change the essence of the message. Remember Neil Armstrong as he stepped off the ladder onto the lunar surface. We heard, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Armstrong actually said, “One small step for a man…”
You also have to consider the audio filter associated with Miles Law, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” If you are just an average voter and believe Donald Trump is a vulgar, misogynist you hear one thing. But, if you are a member of the Secret Service detail assigned to the Republican (and I use that term loosely) nominee for president the Saturday before the general election, you take his words to mean something entirely different. As was the case at a Reno, Nevada rally on November 5, 2016, you hear something consistent with your duty to protect your charge, “Grab the pussy. You can do anything (to protect him).” (As was the case with Armstrong, “em by” was lost in transmission.) Visual evidence the Secret Service responded accordingly is provided below.
FOOTNOTE: The above incident began when Austyn Crites moved toward the stage brandishing a lethal sign which read, “Republicans Against Trump.” Only a cardboard president would feel that threatened by another piece of cardboard. For the record, at the time Crites was a 33 year old Eagle Scout and a registered Republican although Kellyanne Conway accused him of being a Democratic plant on the Sunday talk shows the following morning. And of course, Junior retweeted posts which characterized Crites’ protest as “an assassination attempt.”
For what it’s worth.