One problem with having a pathological liar/senile fantasist in the White House
Is that all of us are socialized to at least initially consider the possibility that the president of the United States is telling the truth when he says something.
That story about the ambassador to Ukraine refusing to hang a picture of Trump in the embassy is a perfect example. This is such an obvious and outrageous lie: NO ambassador would ever do something like that, which is self-evident if you think about it for three seconds.
But what probably happened is that Rudy’s two Ukrainian crook friends got the bright idea of turning Trump against the ambassador by cooking up some preposterous story about how she was supposedly refusing to hang up his fucking official photo.
Trump, because he’s incredibly stupid, and incredibly vain, believed this. He no doubt still believes it, even after various news organizations pointed out it’s false.
But a normal person’s first reaction is to at least consider the possibility that this preposterous on its face story might be true somehow. I confess this was my first reaction, despite knowing all too well how unjustified such an initial reaction to anything Trump says is. Because it’s just too disturbing to treat the president of the United States’ statements as they should be treated, which is to assume that there’s absolutely no reason to ever think that any of them are true, except randomly or by accident, or in those rare instances where telling the truth would be beneficial to him.
This is why sociopaths get away with so much: because they ignore social norms that have to be followed by the vast majority of people the vast majority of the time in order for society to function at all.