Donald Trump: “[I have] one of the great memories of all time.”
Also Donald Trump: “I don’t remember.”
The first statement is one the president repeats often ― most recently on Wednesday, when he implied that the widow of a U.S. soldier killed in Niger was lying (or misremembering) when she said Trump couldn’t remember her deceased husband’s name during a condolence call.
The widow, Myeshia Johnson, also described Trump as saying more than once that her husband “knew what he signed up for.”
“I was really nice to her,” Trump said of Johnson Wednesday, in remarks transcribed by the White House. “I respect her. I respect her family. I certainly respect [her husband] La David, who ― I, by the way, called La David right from the beginning. Just so you understand, they put a chart in front ― ‘La David.’ It says, La David Johnson.”
“So I called right from the beginning,” he went on. “There’s no hesitation. One of the great memories of all time. There was no hesitation.”
“Nobody has more respect than I do,” he concluded. “Nobody.”
His claims of having an excellent memory notwithstanding, Trump uttered the phrase “I don’t remember” 35 times in testimony last year while he was being deposed for a lawsuit concerning Trump University. He ultimately settled the suit.
During a 2012 deposition as part of a separate lawsuit over Trump University, he reportedly said “I don’t remember” another 24 times.