He says a lot of things.
Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Shortly after debuting a new racist name for Nikki Haley, Donald Trump debuted an entirely new identity and life history for her as well. During his campaign rally on Friday night in Concord, New Hampshire, the 77-year-old former president briefly misremembered who he blames for the insurrection he incited on January 6, 2021 — naming Haley when he meant to say then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
“You know, by the way, they never report the crowd on January 6,” he said.
“You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley,” he continued. “Nikki Haley, you know they, do you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything, deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it because of lots of things like Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that. These are very dishonest people”
None of that is true, regardless of whose name Trump inserts. And for the record, while Nancy Pelosi was trying to avoid the pro-Trump mob and regain control of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Nikki Haley was, like many, watching in horror from afar. (She also, like many, incorrectly assumed the events of that day would mean the end of Donald Trump’s political career, then later softened, then later re-hardened, her stances on Trump and his culpability.)
The mixup wasn’t Trump’s only misremembering of the week. At a rally on Wednesday night in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Trump literally spun a whale of a tale while once again bragging about how well he once did on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment — which is designed to test for signs of cognitive decline and dementia (but Trump clearly also thinks of as an intelligence test.) Reports the Washington Post:
“I think it was 35, 30 questions,” the former president said in Portsmouth, N.H., of the test, which he said involved a few animal identification queries. “They always show you the first one, like a giraffe, a tiger, or this, or that — a whale. ‘Which one is the whale?’ Okay. And that goes on for three or four [questions] and then it gets harder and harder and harder.”
The only problem: The creator of the test in question, called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, or MoCA, said it has never included the specific combination of animals described by Trump in any of its versions over the years. In fact, Ziad Nasreddine, the Canadian neurologist who invented the test, said the assessment — intended primarily to test for signs of dementia or other cognitive decline — has never once included a drawing of a whale.
Of course, Nikki Haley famously called for “mandatory mental-competency tests for politicians over 75 years old” at the beginning of her presidential campaign.
Trump also repeated his mental fitness attacks on Joe Biden on Friday again, claiming the 81-year-old president “can’t put two sentences together.” (Biden’s reelection campaign, from its own glass house, has already tweeted out a video of Trump’s Haley/Pelosi mashup.)