Hollywood director Rob Reiner, who supported both Bill and Hillary Clinton, is now very concerned about political untruths. Donald Trump’s that is. Reiner appeared on the Monday edition of MSNBC’s The Beat and decried Trump as someone who “constantly lies and is lying right to our face.”
Reiner supported Barack Obama, a man who committed the PolitiFact lie of year in 2013, but now the filmmaker objects to falsehoods. Talking to host Ari Melber, he complained: “[T]his President, who is a pathological liar, is not going to talk to Robert Mueller. He is incapable of telling the truth.”
How does one find the “truth in our complicated world”? By electing Democrats. Reiner described the key steps:
The first step is for us to take back the House and start having the right kind of hearings that will get the truth out and then ultimately over time people hopefully will come around to accepting the truth because if we don’t then we don’t have democracy anymore.
Recounting the 2016 campaign, Reiner described his realization about Trump: “I thought to myself this guy is certifiably insane.” A number of the Democrats Reiner has supported over the years have been known to lie. But apparently fibs weren’t a big issue.
Though Reiner directed the classic Princess Bride 31-years-ago, his recent films have been mostly duds. Shock and Awe, an attack on the Bush administration, grossed $77,980. That’s the total gross.
A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more:
MSNBC's The Beat
6:54 p.m. Eastern
MELBER: Donald Trump`s new admission that he was lying about the Trump Tower meeting was so brazen and so dramatic it could be a Hollywood movie confession scene. And that`s why in a moment I'm joined by filmmaker and activist Rob Reiner who knows his way around a plot. First, let`s look at the context. It was just last year when Donald Trump said that his sons meeting with the Russians was only about Russian adoption. Then this weekend, he comes out and says no it was to get information on an opponent. Foreign information could be a crime. In other words, Trump is telling everyone he was lying. This is the kind of moment you rarely see where a main character if you will, a protagonist admits they were lying, something we`ve even seen in Rob Reiner`s own films.
[Clips from Rob reiner films.]
MELBER: An accomplished. Rob Reiner is here, the director of the films you just saw. A Few Good Men as well as the new film Shock And Awe which deals with government lies.
MELBER: Thanks for being here.
REINER: My pleasure.
MELBER: Why do people admit them and keep getting away with them in plots, including potentially this American plot?
REINER: Well, they get away with them in plots until somebody uncovers the lie and that becomes a big focal point of the story when all of a sudden the story flips because a lie is exposed. We are having an experience with a guy who lies all the time.
REINER: Constantly lies and is lying right to our face and we have not as yet gotten to that point where those lies become the plot twist that flips and nails them. There’s something that’s been was told to me and when we were doing the case against a Proposition 8 which was to establish marriage equality. One of the lawyers says to me, you know, you can say whatever you want on television but the minute you go into a courtroom and you put your hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth, you have to tell the truth. That’s the reason why this President, who is a pathological liar is not going to talk to Robert Mueller. He is incapable of telling the truth. But at certain point he’s going to hit the wall where the truth and reality are going to come and smack him upside the head and he’s going to have big problems, big, big problems.
MELBER: Sort of an oops upside your head moment.
REINER: But -- and it’s going to be the biggest political plot twist you’ll have ever seen in the history of this country because you’ve got a guy lying -- by way admitting to crimes all over the place. Everybody in this administration is committing crimes and admitting to it but at a certain point, they’re going to be held accountable. The first step is for us to take back the House and start having the right kind of hearings that will get the truth out and then ultimately over time people hopefully will come around to accepting the truth because if we don’t then we don’t have democracy anymore.
MELBER: I wonder in your view about a character who knows they’re lying versus doesn’t care and doesn’t keep track of it. We showed a few good men where what is so unrealistic what rarely happens in the courtroom no offense is a bit of what Donald Trump does on Twitter we’re somewhat actors says yes, no, you know what, everything I said was bull. I was lying. Now I’m saying this which always raises the question why would we believe you now. Take a look at Donald Trump lying based on what we’ve been able to figure out about his well known and documented practice of pretending to be another person his spokesperson which is a lie and then he lies about. Take a look at this from the Today show.
REINER: John Barron, here we go.
TRUMP: [Trump impersonating someone.] I think you can use Donald Trump now, and you can just consolidate it. I think last year somebody showed me the articles and I think he had 200 and 200. [Trump as himself.] It was not me on the phone. And it doesn’t sound like me on the phone. I will tell you that, and it was not me on the phone.
[END AUDIO CLIP]
REINER: Okay, so, first of all, it was him on the phone. And when I heard this, this was during the campaign. I learned about this habit that he has of going on and talking as this guy John Barron or one of these other characters. I thought to myself this guy is certifiably insane because think about this for a second. Who do you know that gets on a phone and pretends to be somebody else on this kind of level and talks to a journalist to get information out? That’s insane. That’s insanity. And I thought when I heard that is how could that guy be President? How are we going to allow a person who does a thing like that become President of the United States? And you know, it happened. But that’s as crazy -- that’s kind of beyond pathological. There’s some kind of mental illness that that allows for something like.
MELBER: But we don’t -- and we don’t know at a distance what it is. We know that he’s caught on tape. The tape plays and he has the ability to just say that wasn’t me or in this weekend’s version admit to his supporters I was lying the whole time and I want people to stay with me on that.
REINER: Yes, well I think you know, he has a certain cult of followers for whatever reason and going to follow him but he has no problem lying. It’s transactional. Does it help him to lie to that guy and say about Donald Trump on the phone? Yes. Does it help them to say that wasn’t Donald Trump? Yes. Whatever’s going to help them at that moment, that’s what he does and he doesn’t care about the you know, the ramifications of it.
MELBER: And with 15 seconds to go, Rick Gates’ testimony today as someone who’s been following Russia strikes you as an important today?
REINER: It is. I don’t think it’s as important right this second because it’s ultimately about Paul Manafort’s you know, financial dealings but he will also have a lot of information about Manafort’s connection to Russia and his connection to Trump.