It is impossible to know what President Donald Trump honestly believes; he seems to adopt any idea that will help him politically with no concern about that idea’s relationship to reality or principle.

As evidenced in taped interviews with journalist Bob Woodward, Trump privately expressed the belief that the coronavirus pandemic was going to be a very deadly affair. Yet in public he repeatedly claimed it was no worse than the flu and discounted dire warnings as a hoax.

Trump now says he did not want to panic Americans by telling the truth about COVID-19, but he is eager to spread panic on another topic by painting a picture of cities such as Seattle and Portland overrun by left-wing terrorists who are preparing to invade the suburbs and rural America. Does he actually believe that or is he just brazenly using a scare story to whip up fear among his supporters in the hinterlands?

And how about climate change? Fires are ravaging the countryside up and down the West Coast. People are dying in rural communities and cities are inundated with dangerously unhealthy smoke. But Monday on his visit to California Trump once again derided the idea that climate change plays any part in the catastrophic Western fires. He predicted the planet would soon start cooling off, much as he predicted that the pandemic would miraculously disappear when summer arrived.

Does he believe any of the things he says? To him, it really doesn’t matter, as long as he can persuade his devoted followers to trust every crazy thing that comes out of his mouth.  

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