White House Chief Of Staff Forgets Bin Laden Existed, Claims Trump Is “The Only President Who Actually Went After A Terrorist And Took Him Out”

This is insane.

637 points

There’s a psychological term for what happens once you’ve bought into a false narrative for so long that you begin to believe it so wholeheartedly that the rest of your “facts” start to coalesce around it. It’s called “cognitive dissonance.” You are so invested in the thing you believe being true that reality bounces off you like a tetherball to the face: It hurts, but it still swings back the other direction just like you want it to.

That could be the Secret Service codename for the collective Trump administration, from the President down to every single one of his appointees — Cognitive Dissonance.

The latest example of it was on display on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, when Trump’s Chief of Staff, former Freedom Caucus Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, described Donald Trump as “the only president who actually went after a terrorist and took him out.”


That’s a level of dissociative thinking that’s almost inconceivable, given a few facts:

  • America has suffered exactly one large-scale terrorist attack in its 244-year history
  • There was a mastermind to that attack named Osama bin Laden
  • He was killed a little over 9 years ago after the president at the time signed off on a military raid on his compound, after years of hunting for him
  • That president was not Donald Trump

But Meadows didn’t just make the outlandish claim and leave it there. Like Trump, he went on and on about the lie he was telling — or maybe because of his fawning love for Trump, he didn’t even realize he was lying. Maybe he forgot about the 3,000 dead and 6,000 injured from 9/11, like it was wiped entirely from his mind:

This is the only president who actually went after a terrorist and took him out. How do we know that? We saw it in real time, where this president took on a threat… And Iran is the preeminent state sponsor of terror, and yet John Kerry [speaking at the DNC] is supposedly going to applaud the efforts of the Obama administration? It’s been this president who has acted, not just domestically, but on foreign policy.”

What else could possibly explain Mark Meadows — who was in office during Obama’s second term — pretending that the Obama administration never acted on foreign policy, besides some kind of alien mind-wipe?

Or perhaps it’s just cognitive dissonance. He needs this to be true so he can keep defending this traitorous president.

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Featured image via composite, both images credit: Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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637 points