The Slatest

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Could Lying About GOP Senators Maybe Hurt Trump?

Donald Trump and Bob Corker in happier times.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Donald Trump likes to make things up. He made up the fact that his Cabinet has the highest IQ of any in history, while also denigrating the IQs of multiple members of his Cabinet. He made up the idea that NFL players are expressing contempt for the military with their national anthem protests, rather than their stated purpose of protesting police brutality and systemic racism. He’s made up a lot of things! It seems that these made-up things, or “lies” as they’re sometimes known, never have any consequences for the president. After initially standing up to the president, for example, NFL league commissioner Roger Goodell has apparently bought into the premise of Trump’s lies about the anthem protests and is now concocting a secret plan to ban those protests. Which is just to say, so far, the lying thing has worked out pretty well for Trump.

There’s a slim chance, though, that some of Trump’s lies might be backfiring on him in the Senate, the body that determines whether an impeachment will result in a conviction. The president recently released a series of statements denigrating Sen. Bob Corker that the retiring Republican is calling untruthful. (Corker accurately described the White House as an adult day care center, which is one reason why Trump is acting out.)

The first lie here is that Corker was “set up” by the New York Times. Rather he was “recorded” being “interviewed” by the newspaper, which has recorded audio of Corker acknowledging as much. According to Corker’s chief of staff, the other lie here is that he “begged” Trump to endorse him. “The president called Senator Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek reelection and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times,” Todd Womack said, calling the president of the United States a liar.

Again, these lies haven’t really been a problem for Trump previously. In fact, some of the people he’s told the worst lies about have become some of his staunchest allies. But maybe—if the time ever comes for the Senate to consider the president’s fate—the fact that he has so baldly lied about so many of its members might not play well. They have to get to that point, though, and nothing on Tuesday made that any more likely, so the meter stays exactly where it was.