Askia MuhammadOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Trump’s Humiliating First Week

In his first week in office, Donald J. Trump managed to embarrass the United States by virtually slamming shut the immigration process so that residents from majority-Muslim countries could not enter this country, even those from Afghanistan and Iraq who may have even betrayed their own countries in order to help this country wage its immoral and illegal wars in those places.

Trump also managed to demonstrate himself, and his press secretary Sean Spicer to be bald-faced liars. Now we know government officials lie to the public all the time, but rarely are we able to look them in the eye and point out to them that the statements they are making are “at variance with the truth.”

“I looked out, the field was — it looked like a million, million and a half people,” The Donald said of his inauguration.

Trump was lying about the size of his Inauguration Day audience. There were 250,000, maybe 400,000 there that day.

Then, he ordered his press spokesman to call the White House press corps together to tell them a point-blank lie: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”

That is a pure falsehood and Spicer knew it. He lied. And to add insult to injury, Trump literally telephoned the head of the National Park Service on Inauguration Day to order him to provide the White House with alternative photos from the ones it shared from the top of the Washington Monument, on Jan 20, 2009 and again this year, revealing many, many, many spaces where there were no people this year, but where people were clearly standing for Barack Obama’s swearing-in.

There were actually more people protesting Trump at the Women’s March on Jan. 21, than there were at the inauguration. Metro says eight times more people rode the subway on the day of the protest than on Inauguration Day, and police said there were only 200 requests for bus parking for Trump’s day, while there were 1,200 requests for the protest.

Enter White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway. When confronted about the true facts contradicting the Trump White House version of what happened that day on The Mall, she defended her team saying Spicer had simply presented “alternative facts.” NBC’s “Meet The Press” moderator Chuck Todd told Conway that “alternative facts” are nothing more than untruths.

Conway’s comment had the Oprah effect on the sales of at least one book. George Orwell’s dystopian novel about mind control, “1984,” saw a 9,500 percent sales increase on Amazon after Conway’s comment. The book rocketed to No. 1 in one week.

Another humiliation: although he won the electoral contest and is now President, Trump said during a meeting with congressional leaders in the White House that the only reason he lost the popular vote count to Hillary Rodham Clinton by nearly 2.9 million votes is because “3 to 5 million illegals” voted. Another lie.

Since 2000, hundreds and hundreds of millions of ballots have been cast in this country. There have been only 40 or so verified cases of voter fraud in all those hundreds of millions of votes over nearly two decades. People are not going around by the dozens, the hundreds, the thousands voting in the names of dead people or others. Trump lies.

No. What has been revealed is that Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s daughter Tiffany Trump, Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon, White House Press Secretary Spicer and treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin were all registered to vote in two different states. There’s your voter fraud, Trump!

Spoiler alert: “Registering” to vote in two states is not illegal, per se, voting in more than one place is illegal.

And then, activists from the group Greenpeace hung a massive, 70-by-35-foot banner reading “RESIST” from a crane only blocks from the White House. From the ellipse, behind the White House, it looked as if the banner was hanging from the executive mansion itself.

This presidency is just a few days old, one week out of 200 weeks until the 2020 election. The jokes are sure to continue, although these are not laughing matters.

I’m glad to see so many people rising up to protest, to resist, to struggle, and they are finding such imaginative ways to denounce this person, early in his term. Dare to struggle. Dare to win. That’s good, but probably not sufficient. Trump has broad and deep popular support, and unless he stubs his toe really, really badly, the politicians, the courts, the voters are not going to be able to get him out of office before the next election, my guess.

So, struggle is good. But I say, for this guy whom I never thought could be nominated, let alone be elected, sharpen your sense of humor: “Dare to giggle. Dare to grin.”

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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