Trump’s Campaign: Screw What You’ve Seen With Your Own Eyes, We’ve Been Super Safe

White House

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You don’t need me to tell you this: The Trump campaign gaslights you every day. That’s even more the case with a president holed up in hospital signing blank pieces of paper. On Sunday morning, the campaign took to TV in an attempt to wave its hands and make reality, poof, disappear.

You’ve all seen the photos of the White House Rose Garden event last weekend, where Trump administration members and its supporters mingled maskless to celebrate the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. You’ve all seen Trump fans gleefully crammed cheek-by-jowl into rallies. And you’ve heard Trump himself deny the severity of the pandemic, including during last Tuesday’s debate: “We’ve had no negative effect,” he lied about his rallies (Herman Cain?) while mocking Biden for wearing a mask. Just one night before he announced his own diagnosis, Trump told a virtual event “the end of the pandemic is sight” after spending the afternoon in New Jersey raising money, maskless.

But in Trump campaign land, the president and his team have been the paragon of safety. When pressed by George Stephanopoulos about lax requirements at Trump rallies on his ABC show on Sunday, campaign official Jason Miller said they have, actually, been super safe, and accused Biden of using masks as a “prop.”

“Hasn’t the cavalier approach to masks and social distancing at these rallies been a mistake?” Stephanopoulos asked Miller. “Will it change going forward?”

“We give everyone coming to rallies or events, we give them a mask. We check their temperature,” Miller said. “It hasn’t been cavalier at all.”

But the attack on reality didn’t stop there. “I would say that with regard to Joe Biden, I think too often he’s used the mask as a prop,” Miller said. “He could be 20, 30 feet away from the nearest person and still have the mask on. That’s not going to change anything that’s out there.”

In other words, to answer Stephanopoulos’s question more directly: No, nothing will change going forward.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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