WASHINGTON, DC–In the wake of an ambush that claimed the lives of four US servicemembers in Niger, the American press corps has been doggedly pursuing the most important aspect of the story: What did President Trump say on the phone to one of the widows and what was his tone?*
A lesser Fourth Estate might have focused on trivialities like the reason that US soldiers were in Niger in the first place–a country most Americans previously believed to be a simple mispronunciation of Nigeria. But instead, the media has zeroed in on the real story like an Apache gunner on a cameraman. This week, they were rewarded as the story burst wide open.
In a new interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the Gold Star widow of La David Johnston provided a damning account of her conversation with the president. Among other issues, she said that President Trump seemed to forget her late husband’s name in the middle of the discussion.
While such a charge would be difficult for most presidents to live down, Trump quickly responded to the accusation on Twitter with an excuse that many may find plausible.
“If I had to remember the name of every American soldier who died in a pointless and obscure conflict on my orders, I wouldn’t have time for anything else. No good!” Trump wrote.
PolitiFact subsequently judged the tweet to be false, concluding that Trump would in fact have time left over even after memorizing America’s pointless casualties. However, their assessment was controversial because it relied on a narrow definition of “pointless”, which excluded current operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia, among others.
*This is a satirical post.