The Atlantic

The Falsehood at the Core of Trump's Warsaw Speech

The problem was not so much the speech as the speaker.
Source: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

Sunday was “trivialize violence against the media” day for President Trump. Thursday was “fly to Warsaw and champion Western values day.”

As presidential speeches go, Trump’s address in Warsaw was fair. Ish. If you forget who is speaking and what that person has been saying and doing since Inauguration Day—since the opening of his campaign in 2015—and really through his career.

But if you remember those things, the speech jolted you to attention again and again.

“We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.” This must be an example of what the grammarians should rename the “disjunctive we”: a we that does not include the speaker of the words. Rule of law? Free speech? Shortly before boarding the plane to Europe, President Trump’s

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