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SCOT LEHIGH

Tangled tales from Trumpland

Lesley Becker/Globe Staff

Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. North and South Pole and all the wireless-free ships at sea, as a modern-day Walter Winchell might say. Just to catch you up on the latest, another emissary from rationality, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, came to the United States this week to urge President Trump to stay in the Iran deal. Boris did it in the most direct way possible: He went on Official Trumpland TV’s morning show. That is, “Fox & Friends.”

Johnson is the Jack Black of British politics. Think: Trump without hair spray, but with more command of the facts. He talked with Foxcaster Brian Kilmeade, who once opined that the problem with America is “we keep marrying other species” — that explains those damn centaurs that keep trampling my garden! — “and other ethnicities.” (No wonder Trump likes the show.) Anyway, having Brian as his interlocutor gave Boris an excuse for explaining the Iran deal dynamics as though tutoring a sixth-grader. But alas, to no avail; on Tuesday, Trump abandoned the deal. If only Boris had pitched it at a fourth-grade level.

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The other big administration-related news: Trump has hired Rudy Giuliani to host a new Netflix show called “Apprentice Attorney.” Kidding, kidding. Actually, Giuliani was hired pursuant to the notion that he was a savvy legal point man who could go on TV and explain away messes like the election-eve hush money paid to keep Stormy Daniels from revealing that she and Donald had once allegedly made the beast with two backs.

Such was the plan, anyway. But Rudy has changed. Like, say, Randle McMurphy at the end of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The official fable had been that Cohen paid Stormy $130,000 to stay silent even though she had nothing to speak up about, and that Trump, who knew nothing about the payment, had not reimbursed Cohen.

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In short order, Rudy said just the opposite: Trump had known at least generally about the payment and had repaid Cohen. That news surprised not just the White House inner circle but even chief Trumpswab Sean Hannity. Rudy thinks he’s been a big success, because everyone is talking about him. Of course, by that measure, the Titanic’s maiden voyage was also a smash.

But Rudy’s revision may have vexed Trump, who sent this advice his political pettifogger’s way: “Learn before you speak. It’s a lot easier.” Translation: Get your lies in line.

Of course, Rudy may have thought they were. The Wall Street Journal reports that he and Trump devised the latest strategy together. Anyway, the official fable evolves day by day, but the latest version seems to be this: Trump repaid Cohen for the hush dollars in $35,000 installments (what a novel lay-away plan!), but without knowing what he was paying for.

Here’s the silver lining in the Stormy cloud: 24 percent of Trump’s supporters believe his denial of an affair, so you really can fool some of the people all of the time!

Meanwhile, others are enfolding Trump in their own passionate embrace. Like Don Blankenship, the West Virginia coal baron and US Senate aspirant, who spent a year in the crowbar hotel on mine-safety violations. “I am Trumpier than Trump,” he has declared.

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And with a Trumpian knack for nicknames! He’s tagged Mitch McConnell “Cocaine Mitch” because . . . well, honestly, it’s too convoluted to explain. But speaking of conspiracy theorists, Lyndon LaRouche and his compeers say the nefarious “City of London Imperial Oligarchs” are using Robert Mueller to defenestrate Trump so they can use Iran, Syria, Korea, and Ukraine to unleash war on Russia and China.

Look for it soon on Hannity. Oh, I forgot, you’re out of range of Official Trumpland TV.

Oh well, until next time, then, that’s your report from the United States of Insanity.


Scot Lehigh can be reached at lehigh@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GlobeScotLehigh.