President Trump created his own Situation Room moment. He set up his table, gathered and positioned some available officials, ushered in the photographer and pretended to be watching the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
From fabricated or deceptive claims about trade and the economy to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, the United States’ President Trump has made ‘dishonesty’ the core focus of his policy-making scheme. Apparently, the only time he doesn’t lie is when he is asleep.
Apparently, the only time President Trump doesn’t lie is when he is asleep.
Two days ago, the White House released what would have been a War Situation Room showing President Trump and his team supposedly directing and monitoring the killing of the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. But this bizarre gathering was actually a sham to replicate a historic 2011 moment when President Barack Obama watched from the Situation Room as commandos went after Osama bin Laden the leader of al-Qaeda.
Obama’s ‘Bin Laden Situation Room photo was impromptu, capturing a tensed moment as this President flanked by his national security team, received live updates from Operation Neptune Spear, which led to the killing of bin Laden. But last week, eight years later, President Trump created his own Situation Room moment. He set up his table, gathered and positioned some available officials, ushered in the photographer and pretended to be watching the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
President Trump’s photo in the real sense reveals the dishonest face of this administration. It may be recalled that early in September, President Trump displayed his fabricated version of Hurricane Dorian forecast map to show the powerful storm was on track to hit Alabama. Of course, he had to lie. He had falsely stated in a tweet earlier that Alabama was among the several states expected to face impacts from this storm.
In an administration pervaded with mediocrity and policy-making inaccuracies, the White House is experiencing an alarming decrease in trust and reputation. Just last month, the Washington Post reported that President Trump has made 13,435 false or misleading claims over 993 days by significantly uttering exaggerated figures, making unwarranted claims and irritating the social media with horribly outright falsehoods.
So it is not a coincidence that the photos reveal the difference between a real war situation room and a discreditable photo-shoot situation.
♦ Anthony Ogbo, PhD, Adjunct Professor at the Texas Southern University is the author of the Influence of Leadership (2015) and the Maxims of Political Leadership (2019). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org