Tapper: Pompeo Used ‘Trump-to-English Dictionary’ When He Denied Trump’s Direct Quote

Tapper: Pompeo Used ‘Trump-to-English Dictionary’ When He Denied Trump’s Direct Quote

It’s funny because it’s true.

On Monday afternoon’s edition of The Lead with Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor hosted a panel discussion on the topic of whether President Trump will be so driven to distraction by his former lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony to Congress this week that he will muff negotiations at his summit in Vietnam with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter noted her concern that Trump might be so enraged by the doings on Capitol Hill that he would lose focus and decide he needs to bring a big “win” back to Washington, D.C. That could lead to his giving Kim too many concessions.

Her observation led Tapper to note that Trump was already going into the summit with a disadvantage. Specifically, that there is often a gap between what Trump perceives to be reality and actual reality.

Tapper then played a clip from his Sunday interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In it, Pompeo had tried to claim that Trump never said the risk of North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons was completely gone. Tapper then quoted a Trump tweet from after his first summit with Kim last summer, in which Trump said “there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” Pompeo then had to do a little verbal tap-dancing to claim Trump was merely saying the risk was lower than before, not completely gone.

After the clip played, Tapper commented, to much laughter, that Pompeo had to run Trump’s tweet through a “Trump to English dictionary” to come up with his answer.

This would all be a lot funnier if it wasn’t so common. Trump administration officials are constantly having to walk back statements Trump makes on his Twitter account. Or they have to read his tweets and reverse-engineer a policy or a narrative to fit those tweets. This also requires them to pretend that they are not doing a complete one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn from previous statements, no matter how much a reporter might press them on it.

Watch the entire video at the top of the post.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.