Donald Trump declared this week that all of the oil pipelines he is approving will be built with American steel, then exempted one of those pipelines from his promise almost immediately.
Shareblue has long established that Donald Trump’s promises are not worth the unsecured Android phone they are tweeted from, but the latest example of this is stunning because it cuts so deeply at one of Trump’s core appeals to his less-ideological supporters.
During his address to a joint session of Congress this week, Trump promised that infrastructure projects, and specifically oil pipelines, would be made using only American steel, a claim clearly intended to appeal to union steelworkers and their supporters, as well as to anyone in the country concerned about unemployment numbers.
We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines [applause] thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs. And I have issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.
Never mind that Trump mentioned the Keystone pipeline by name in that speech — the White House has announced that Keystone will be exempt from that promise due to a loophole they believe they have found:
By the White House’s judgment, that description would not include Keystone XL, which developer TransCanada first proposed in 2008.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline is currently in the process of being constructed, so it does not count as a new, retrofitted, repaired or expanded pipeline,” the White House spokeswoman said.
That is a twisted bit of logic by anyone’s standards. And unfortunately for the Trump White House, Trump is on record not just explicitly promising to use American steel for that pipeline, but even naming the company he would expect to provide it:
LONGHI: Mario Longhi with U.S. Steel, Mr. President. Thank you for the opportunity.
TRUMP: And you’re going to be doing pipelines now, you know that, right? We put you heavy into the pipeline business because we approved, as you know, the Keystone Pipeline, and Dakota, but they have to buy — meaning steel, so I’ll say U.S. Steel, but steel made in this country.
Trump’s latest lie may be overshadowed by the blockbuster scandal involving Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but it deserves attention, because it further demonstrates just how badly Trump has swindled the working-class voters who supported him, while essentially declaring war on the millions more who did not.