Trump Is a Bad Joke That America Has Played on Itself—and the World

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Jan. 28, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).
President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Jan. 28, 2017 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

In November 2008, just days before the U.S. presidential election, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was the high-profile victim of a prank call from a team of Canadian comics pretending to be then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy. More recently, in August 2019, Sen. Lindsey Graham let his guard down with a team of Russian prank callers pretending to be the Turkish defense minister. Both suffered significant embarrassment when recordings of the conversations were subsequently released. In a way that was shocking but not surprising, the calls both revealed and confirmed the gap between what politicians say in public and what they […]

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