{{featured_button_text}}

WASHINGTON -- Have you heard the news?

"HOLD THE DATE!" President Trump tweeted Sunday. "We will be having one of the biggest gatherings in the history of Washington, D.C., on July 4th. It will be called 'A Salute To America' and will be held at the Lincoln Memorial. Major fireworks display, entertainment and an address by your favorite president, me!"

Fireworks in Washington on Independence Day? This is a brilliant idea! It's a wonder nobody thought of this before.

The Twitterverse replied with various follow-on observances the president could initiate: A party in Times Square on Dec. 31? Mass distribution of candy on Oct. 31? And indeed, executive authority would appear to be boundless in this area:

"We will be having one of the biggest meteorological phenomena in the history of Washington, D.C., at 6:45 am tomorrow. It will be called 'Sunrise.'"

"We will be having one of the biggest reprieves from work in American history on Saturday and Sunday. It will be called 'The Weekend.'"

By re-election time, he will have given Americans indoor plumbing, ice cream and Christmas. Strike that: He already gave us Christmas, in 2017. "People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again," he tweeted. "I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase."

Man has taken credit for achievements not his own since long before Al Gore invented the internet. (Yes, I know, he didn't really say that.) But Trump's boasts are so manic that it almost seems as though, tired of losing, he is trying to win by crediting himself with happenings that have nothing to do with him.

Trump claimed credit for squeezing more money out of NATO partners when they reiterated their previous spending commitments. He took credit for building the U.S. military into the most powerful on Earth (previous rank: No. 1) and for a $12 billion drop in the U.S. debt after his first month in office. (It has since grown by $2 trillion.)

He gave himself props for the "safest year on record" in aviation in 2017, even though no U.S. airline had had a fatality since 2009. And he claimed credit for inventing the 19th-century economic phrase "prime the pump." This would appear to be a pure example of "fake news" -- a phrase for which Trump has also awarded himself authorship.

He has most prominently claimed credit for low unemployment (particularly for African-Americans and Hispanics), high stock values and the "greatest economy in the history of our country," though he previously said the expansion, which began under President Barack Obama, was the weakest in history, with fake unemployment figures and a stock-market "bubble."

"Since my election as president the Dow Jones is up 43%," Trump tweeted Monday morning, nearly 10 years into a bull market that grew some 150 percent under Trump's predecessor. But when stocks plunged in December, Trump blamed the Federal Reserve.

Likewise, Trump has for months taken credit for falling gas prices: "Thank you President T," he wrote, and "Do you think it's just luck that gas prices are so low, and falling?" More recently, with prices rising, Trump blamed OPEC. "Please relax and take it easy," he instructed the oil cartel Monday.

This week, Trump is to have nuclear talks with North Korea, after previously claiming credit for eliminating the country's nuclear threat -- even though it has not given up its weapons. This led to an amusing exchange Sunday between CNN's Jake Tapper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

Tapper: Do you think North Korea remains a nuclear threat?

Pompeo: Yes.

Tapper: But the president said he doesn't.

Pompeo: That's not what he said. ...

Tapper: He tweeted: "There's no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."

Trump took credit for a "terrific" new trade deal with Canada and Mexico that is largely the same as the previous pact, which he called "the worst." Calling off threatened tariff increases against China, he appears to be preparing to do the same there. He claimed credit for a drop in generic drug prices unrelated to actions he took, for savings on military contracts and for corporate expansions that pre-dated him and for environmental cleanups done by a previous administration.

And as Congress blocked his border wall, Trump claimed credit for segments of wall built years ago. "A lot of the wall is built," he announced.

And that wall is the greatest thing since sliced bread -- which, it so happens, Trump also invented.

Dana Milbank is a columnist for The Washington Post. 

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
9
0
0
0
0

Load comments