WASHINGTON – Of all the scandalous revelations in the Michael Wolff book, the most revealing may be the one about the apricot swirl atop the president’s head.
For years, Donald Trump has labored to convince us that “I actually don’t have a bad hairline,” that “it’s not really a comb-over,” that “it’s my real hair.” His personal physician attested that Trump “has all his hair.”
Who were we to believe: Trump or our own eyes?
Now, via Wolff, comes a plausible explanation from Ivanka Trump of her father’s bouffant: “She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate – a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery – surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.” And the color “was from a product called Just for Men – the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.”
There it is, in orange and white: Everything about the man is deceptive, even the style of his hair – and the size of his button.
After Trump boasted about the largeness and functionality of his “nuclear button” last week, a few reporters pointed out that the only button on his desk in the Oval Office is for him to order a Diet Coke. Maybe Trump thinks he is ordering a nuclear strike each time he presses that button and that he is then being rewarded with a Diet Coke?
There are valid questions about the validity of some anecdotes in the book, “Fire and Fury,” but former top Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon, whose quotes are the most damning, hasn’t disputed their accuracy. It’s as if Trump has a force field of falsehood around him: The further people get from him, the more they succumb to reality.
In September, when Bannon had just left the White House and was still in Trump’s force field, he proclaimed to “60 Minutes” that “there’s nothing to the Russia investigation. It’s a waste of time.” In the book, Bannon is quoted as saying that the Trump campaign meeting with Russians was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” that there is “zero” chance Donald Jr. didn’t introduce the Russians to his father, and that investigators are “going to crack Don Junior like an egg.”
It’s no small irony that book excerpts showing Trump’s perfidy appeared the day after Trump announced that he would host “THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS,” featuring “Bad Reporting in various categories.” Call it the Trumpies?
For once in his life, Trump is being modest. In the field of dishonesty, it is he who deserves the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement: Obama wiretapped him. He had the largest inauguration audience ever. The Russia story is fake news.
Muslims celebrated in New Jersey on 9/11. He only got a small loan from dad. Hillary Clinton started the “birther” movement.
The tax cut will cost him a fortune.
Glenn Kessler and his Fact Checker team at The Post report that Trump has made 1,950 false or misleading claims in office.
I would nominate Trump in the “Best Original Story” category for his recent claims that President Barack Obama’s plane “never got to land” in the Philippines: “The plane came close but it didn’t land.” This is pure fabrication.
In the “Best Actor in a Misleading Role” category, I again nominate Trump, this time for boasting, some 85 times by Kessler’s count, about stock market records – contradicting his claim that the same bull market under Obama was “artificial” and “a bubble.”
And, in the “Best Made-up” category, I nominate Trump’s claim Thursday that Wolff had “zero access to the White House.” Reporters saw Wolff at the White House many times.
Maybe Trump and his few still-loyal aides are telling the truth: Former Trump aide Katie Walsh didn’t say working with Trump was “like trying to figure out what a child wants,” Melania Trump didn’t weep with sorrow when her husband won, and various aides and pals didn’t describe Trump as an “idiot,” “dumb,” “stupid,” “crazy,” a “dope” and semiliterate.
But on the “Today” show Friday, Wolff had a compelling retort: “My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than perhaps anyone who has ever walked on earth.”
Give a Trumpie to that man with the scalp-reduction surgery and the $7 dye job!
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter @Milbank.