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The Washington Post describes Donald Trump’s private attitude toward the federal deficit:

When former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn’s staffers prepared a presentation for Trump about deficits, Cohn told them no. It wouldn’t be necessary, he said, because the president did not care about deficits, according to current and former officials.

Trump also repeatedly told Cohn to print more money, according to three White House officials familiar with his comments. “He’d just say, run the presses, run the presses,” one former senior administration official said, describing the president’s Oval Office orders. “Sometimes it seemed like he was joking, and sometimes it didn’t.”

Nobody would care much about this except that apparently Trump has changed his mind and now plans a new attack on the deficit while simultaneously demanding (a) increased spending on a bunch of new programs he favors and (b) popular programs not be touched. The authors provide this example from a couple of months ago during the runup to the midterms:

When staffers sought to include an attack on Democrats’ Medicare-for-all proposals in Trump’s campaign speeches this fall, he initially blanched, two administration aides said. Medicare is popular, he said, and voters want it. Eventually, he agreed to the attack if he could say Democrats were going to take the entitlement away.

I’m trying to think of what to say about this, but I’m coming up blank. Trump “agreed to the attack,” but only if the attack was changed to something that was entirely false. Only then was he was OK with it.

That’s our president! The Post writers, needless to say, don’t bother pointing out that Trump’s frequently repeated attack was a lie. Sigh.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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