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Out-Trumping Trump

On the Edge

On The Edge
Áine Ryan

Trying to recover from Donald Trump’s latest gaffe is hard. The U-turn must have been his fear of Siberia. Solitary confinement in a gulag, perhaps. Unlike Russian Nobel Laureate, the late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, we couldn’t expect such a sojourn to culminate in a deeply moving piece of literature like ‘One Day in the Life of  Ivan Denisovich’. ‘One Day in the Life of Donald John Trump’? Nah! No thanks. Anyway, where would he get his buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken nuggets, McDonalds’ burgers and fries and big taco bowls. (Actually, ditch the tacos, who cares about the Hispanic vote now.)     
“Did I say wood? I meant wooden,” was one of the litany of memes on social media, caricatured brilliantly with a cartoon picture of The Donald with a very, very long nose.
Well, it was one porky pie too far, wasn’t it?
(He could do with a few lessons from Irish politicians on the art of U-turning. Sure, the double-negative is part of our cultural lexicon.)
But then, another meme, underlines his narcissistic self-belief: “It’s not a Lie. If I say it’s True.”
Except when he ‘misspeaks’. And, as he explained to the US Cabinet and Congressional Republicans on his return back home last Tuesday, he ‘misspoke’ in Helsinki when he said, in response to a question about foreign interference in the US presidential election, “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server.” (Here, he was referring to 33,000 emails sent by Hilary Clinton that have allegedly disappeared.)
Back in the US of A, he insisted: “The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it WOULDN’T be Russia [that interfered in the US election of 2016]’.  
“Let me be totally clear in saying that … I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Mr Trump said. But in his typical manner, he added: “It could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”
(Isn’t he so right, there are a lot of people out there?)
Putin must be laughing all the way to the Kremlin. Oh! I forgot it is summer. Time for Vlad (no, not our guy) to decamp to his summer gaff, ‘Putin’s Palace’ or ‘Dacha Putin’, as it is known locally.
Bet you the guffaws over those vodka shots, imbibed before a little hunting expedition, are echoing all over the Black Sea. Another little thing that The Donald and Vlad have in common: supporting gun lobbies and arms manufacturers.

‘You can trust no one’
BUT let’s go back to Helsinki for a moment. It’s worth reading the entire transcript of the press conference and the question-and-answer session afterwards, because to be fair to Donald, this was only one tiny little sentence in the middle of a very important meeting of two global powers with a dodgy history. I mean, Donald showed his support for Putin right throughout the whole fanfare.  Really, alongside the media furore about Trump’s statement, Putin’s response to a related question should have been appended.  
“As to who is to be believed, who is not to be believed: you can trust no one. Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America and I do defend the interests of the Russian Federation. We do have interests that are common. We are looking for points of contact.”
So, notwithstanding Donald’s propensity for gaffes and his most embarrassing turn-around to date, didn’t Putin hit the nail on the head? Of course, Hilary wasn’t squeaky clean either throughout the shenanigans of her campaign. We all know it is more about spin than substance in the murky world of politics these days. We don’t have to cross any oceans or push side invisible iron curtains to make that conclusion.  
Meanwhile, it would be helpful though if one of the Irish-Americans working on Capitol Hill would go to the trouble of giving President Trump a basic geography lesson, particularly since he owns property on our Wild Atlantic Way!
Dear Donald, the little island of Ireland is not in the United Kingdom.  
While indulging in more gaffes during his foray on the La La Land of the Brexiteers, he told The Sun: “I believe that the people in the UK – Scotland, Ireland – they like me a lot.”
Sorry to say this, Don, but our little island achieved independence in 1922, became a republic in 1949, joined the EEC in 1973, lost our sovereignty to the ECB and IMF in 2010, pretended we got it back in the ensuing years. And, you know what, a lot of us don’t like you, not even a teensy weensy bit.