Sometimes it seems like President Trump is living in his own world.
A world where Trump already has the votes to replace the Affordable Care Act and pass tax reform; where hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico are getting “A-plus ratings;” and where he has a “fantastic” relationship with congressional Republicans.
To critics, the world is one in which Republicans have been unable to pass major legislation, including health care and taxes; in which lawmakers have have harshly criticized the Puerto Rico response; in which a prominent Republican has likened the Trump White House to an adult day care center — and one in which Trump is seeking to create his own version of reality.
More from USA Today:
John Kelly: ‘Stunned and broken-hearted’ Trump criticized for trying to console military widow
Trump’s handling of cases involving troops killed in action part of growing controversy
George W. Bush delivers clear rebuke, without mentioning Trump by name
“Since he first emerged as a presidential candidate, Trump has regularly asserted things that aren’t true in order to either avoid uncomfortable questions or paint a rosy (or dystopian) picture of whatever issue he’s talking about,” said Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor with the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.
Trump’s world is volatile and can shift suddenly:
• On Tuesday, Trump indicated he supported a bipartisan Senate plan to restore certain health insurance subsidies; the next day, he criticized the plan as too much of a gift to the insurance companies.
• In early October, Trump tweeted that Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” in seeking diplomacy with North Korea, yet insisted he was not undercutting his secretary of State. After reports that Tillerson once called Trump a “moron,” Trump told reporters that they have “a very good relationship,” though “sometimes I’d like him to be a little bit tougher.”
• Trump continues to say that the United States is the highest-taxed nation in the world, even though that is not the case.
“Some people say it differently, they say we’re the highest developed nation taxed in the world,” Trump told Scripps in an interview this week. “A lot of people know exactly what I’m talking about, and in many cases they think I’m right when I say the highest. As far as I’m concerned, I think we’re really essentially the highest, but if you want to add the ‘developed nation,’ you can say that, too.”
To Trump supporters, it is the critics and reporters who are distorting reality, taking Trump’s statements out of context or putting them in a false light while he seeks to promote his agenda his way.