Conservative commentator: Trump administration 'can’t keep gaslighting people'

Conservative commentator Tara Setmayer on Monday said that the Trump administration is "gaslighting" the American public and the administration may not be able to continue the tactic much longer.

“We can’t keep gaslighting people into believing that nothing is happening, that the president has been completely truthful, nothing to hide,” Setmayer told Hill.TV on “Rising” in response to Rudy Giuliani’s “truth isn’t truth” comments over the weekend.

“The doublespeak that is being used by folks on Trump’s legal team — and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border MORE himself — is really scary stuff,” the former GOP communications director added.

Giuliani, a member of Trump's legal team, said the president could get caught in a perjury trap if agrees to an interview with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, saying "truth isn't truth." 

“When you tell me that he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because that’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth," Giuliani told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press.”

Setmeyer also said Giuliani’s semantics quandary was right up there with President Clinton’s response during his grand jury testimony in 1998 when he tried to question the meaning of “is” on whether he lied about having an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

“I’m old enough to remember when we went after Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Howard Schultz must run as a Democrat for chance in 2020 Trump says he never told McCabe his wife was 'a loser' MORE for ‘depends on what the definition of "is" is.’ That’s up there — I think this might beat that,” Setmeyer said.

Following the backlash, Giuliani has since attempted to clarify his remark, citing that it wasn’t “meant as a pontification on moral theology.”

Trump and Mueller’s legal teams, meanwhile, have been locked in ongoing negotiations over a potential interview with the president. Trump maintains that’s he’s willing to cooperate with Mueller's investigation, despite the fact that he continues to lash out at Mueller and has repeatedly called it a “witch hunt.”

— Tess Bonn