By: Jon Sopel of BBC
Every now and then a few disparate things collide, and suddenly you see a pattern. And I don’t want this blog to come across as faux naïve. I’ve covered politics for long enough to know that politicians will try to shape and mould truth to best suit their purposes, to allow them to weaponise the facts that will give them greatest advantage.
And I know that politicians love transparency when it best suits them. But in the past two weeks, a line has been crossed.
Let me start with something seemingly minor. I was listening to the president and Theresa May at their news conference in the Chequers garden when Donald Trump, talking about Brexit, suddenly made the statement that he had predicted the result when he was at his golf course in Turnberry for the opening of his wonderful golf course the day before the EU referendum in June 2016.
Anyway back to my tweet saying the president was factually incorrect. Straight back shot Stephanie Grisham, who is the first lady’s director of communications, but more importantly at the time was Donald Trump’s press person for the trip to Turnberry.
She told me on Twitter the president was right to say what he had said – and she had the photos to prove it.
So we produced the tweet from the president on the 24th saying “Just arrived in Scotland…” and from her saying that she had just arrived in Scotland.
Someone else found the flight manifest, confirming that the Trump private jet had arrived on the 24th. I fully agree a storm in a teacup. This is not the sort of thing on which world peace hinges.
But I struggle to fathom Steph’s motives. Why did she go wading in to defend a lie? And why when the proof was provided that she was incorrect did she not just say “fair enough – my mistake”.