Trump Claims False Credit For Billionaires’ Space Joy Rides
Whenever someone in Donald Trump’s orbit is accused of doing something illegal or, even worse, trash-talks the twice-impeached former president, the offender is someone Trump barely knew, was a coffee boy, was weak and/or was highly overrated.
But, of course, whenever something goes well and Trump was within at least one Scaramucci of it, the ceaselessly self-promoting Florida retiree will claim total and complete credit. He’s doing so now for the robust job market as employers scramble to find workers as the economy opens back up as more and more of the country receives coronavirus vaccines.
And, according to Trump’s telling, those vaccines never would have been possible had it not been for him. Never mind the fact that his bumbling, science-denying response to the pandemic likely cost an untold number of lives.
Given that background it’s hardly surprising that Trump now is claiming that he “made it possible” for Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to take brief joy rides into space. Trump made the claim during a phone appearance on the Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” show. He said that he gave the go-ahead for his administration to lease facilities to Branson and Bezos so that they would be able to test and launch their spacecraft.
“They love sending rocket ships up. And I made it possible for them to do this. I actually said to my people, ‘Let the private sector do it,’ ” Trump said. “These guys want to come in with billions of dollars. Let’s lease them facilities, because, you know, you need certain facilities to send up rockets. And we have those facilities. We have the greatest facilities.”
The problem is, as with just about all of Trump’s exaggerations, they’re easily fact checked. Branson and Bezos did, indeed, test and launch their rockets from U.S. government facilities, but they were doing so with the blessing of former president Barack Obama as early as 2014, not Trump.
Another salient point: Trump hates Bezos and never would do anything to benefit him for at least two reasons: one, Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has relentlessly investigated corruption in Trump’s administration and, two: Bezos is far, far wealthier than Trump.