“The President had scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India, so a senior member of the Administration attended in his stead,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham said by way of explanation for Trump’s absence.
Except that Trump said the climate change meeting was later in the day and that he hadn’t missed it at all. From the pool report:
“Asked if he attended the climate session, Potus says ‘we’re having it in a little while.’ He didn’t appear to hear when a reporter told him it just happened.”
So, which is it? Did he have other pressing commitments? Or did he think it was later? Or are neither of those things true? (HINT: It’s the last one!)
Let’s rule out the idea that Trump just had the climate meeting down on his schedule wrong. He has a slew of advisers to keep track of where he is going and when. Plus, there are only seven world leaders in attendance — so, if the other six are all in one place, it’s sort of hard to imagine Trump and his team couldn’t figure it out pretty quickly.
Which brings us to the official White House claim that Trump had “scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India” which is why he couldn’t go to the climate change meeting.
As CNN’s Jim Sciutto pointed out
, both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were in the climate change meeting. (There’s visual evidence
!) That fact gives us these options by way of explaining the White House position:
1) Modi and Merkel have been cloned and can appear in two places at once
2) Trump was meeting not with the heads of Germany and India but with lower-level staff
3) The official White House line is another Trump lie.
Given the tsunami of lies that spews from Trump and the White House every day, I vote for #3.