Suggestio Falsi

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By Bill Maher

The hardest thing, in America under Trump, is holding on to your outrage over the last indignity while new stock constantly arrives. We’re all Lucy at the conveyor belt of chocolates, except that ain’t chocolate.

I’m still hung up on the pure contempt for our intelligence expressed in Don Jr.’s first description of his meeting with every Russian on Earth. (We know now that the real author of the statement was Don Sr.)

“We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children… I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

Don Jr. has no idea who’s in his office or why. He’s Mr. Magoo; his world is a blur of random colors and sounds. It reminded me of Neil Bush describing, under oath, what it was like when his dad was President…

Attorney: "Mr. Bush, you have to admit that it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her."

Neil Bush: "It was very unusual."

Attorney: "Were they prostitutes?"

Neil Bush: "I don't -- I don't know."

Don Jr.: “We talked about adoption. Some people were there, but it’s unclear who.”

This is surprisingly supple for the Trumps, who usually just lie. Because it’s not entirely untrue. Adoption was one of the things they discussed, and the Russian lawyer was one of the people in the room. It’s a suggestio falsi – a statement from which, though it’s not actually false itself, the natural and intended inference is wrong. 

And I should just get over it. It’s not illegal to mislead a reporter. But I seem to remember four years of outrage about Benghazi that all came down to: “They said it was just a riot over a video!” 

Suggestio falsi: it’s only a crime when Democrats do it.