During the second Republican presidential debate in September of 2015, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush had words with each other over the latter’s attempted bribery allegations against the former.
The dispute stemmed from nearly a decade ago, in 2007, when Trump wanted to expand his casino empire into Florida while Bush (who stoutly opposed gambling growth in his state) was governor. In a deposition as part of a lawsuit Trump filed against Richard Fields, whom Trump hired to manage the casino growth in Florida, the Republican presidential nominee claimed that he no longer wanted to pursue casino construction in Florida because Fields had cheated him on their deal, quitting and taking insider info from Trump to another company.
Per Newsweek, Trump’s claims in that deposition are in direct contrast to his claims at the Republican debate in September of 2015, when he told Bush that “If I had wanted it, I would have gotten it.”
So the story comes down to two possible outcomes: either Trump committed perjury in his 2007 deposition, or he lied to his entire party at the 2015 debate. Regardless of which time the lie occurred, Trump’s endgame and motivation was the same: to preserve his image and promote a self-serving lie, rather than admit to losing.
In either case, the situation should be taken very seriously—precedents have been set for politicians committing perjury—and an investigation into Trump’s claims seems only logical.
Which is the truth and which is the lie? Did Trump back out of casino expansion because Fields cheated him on their deal in 2007, or would Bush not accept Trump’s bribes, forcing him to change his plans? Hopefully, someday, we’ll find out.