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Will Durst: What Donald Trump Says vs. What Donald Trump Means

Most presidents try to avoid controversy by painstakingly parsing their words like a fifth-grader conserving an allowance at the county fair. Reluctant to reflect even the hint of a whisper of a shadow of a rumpus.

But Donald Trump is not most presidents. He is as singular as a smokestack in a cotton field.

The former New York City real estate developer wields words the way a butcher employs a bone saw. Sometimes revealing more than he intends, such as claiming that reporters ... “don’t know how to write good.” Other times intentionally dropping sticks of rhetorical dynamite into various honey wagons, not caring who gets splattered with what.

Our nation’s rookie chief executive utilizes a special language that is equal parts dog whistle, miscommunication and distinctive code.

And usually there’s a huuuge gap between what he says and what he means. A divide that we here at Durstco have gone to great lengths to decipher so that regular citizens can follow along in a segment we like to call ... What Trump Says & What Trump Means.

WTS: “The media is totally unfair.”

WTM: They insist on reporting the facts.

WTS: “A lot of people don’t know this, but ...”

WTM: Until being told that morning, he didn’t know that.

WTS: “Many people are talking about this ...”

WTM: One guy squatting in a cabin in Upper Michigan tweeted about it in 2014.

WTS: “He’s an idiot.” “A loser.” “Weak.”

WTM: Somebody who disagrees with him.

WTS: “He’s a good person.” “A fabulous find.” “Major talent.”

WTM: Somebody who agrees with him, but you wouldn’t want them to babysit the kids.

WTS: “Tremendous.” “Amazing.” “Fantastic.”

WTM: He likes it.

WTS: “Disaster.” “Total catastrophe.” “A disgrace.”

WTM: Doesn’t like it.

WTS: “Believe me. Believe me.”

WTM: Don’t believe him. Don’t believe him.

WTS: “I have top people working on this.”

WTM: He left a message on Jared Kushner’s voice mail.

WTS: “I’m highly educated. I have the best words.”

WTM: Which he highlights by limiting his usage to about 200 of them.

WTS: “That’s a fact. You know it, I know it, everybody here knows it.”

WTM: He either made it up, or saw it on Infowars.

WTS: “I will let you know in a brief period of time.”

WTM: He has no idea what’s going on.

WTS: “There’s two sides to every story.”

WTM: White supremacists make up a large part of his base.

WTS: “I don’t have time for political correctness.”

WTM: He thinks demonstrating empathy makes him look weak.

WTS: “Absolutely. 100 percent.”

WTM: Probably not.

WTS: “The failing New York Times is one of the worst newspapers.”

WTM: They keep digging up facts.

WTS: “We’re going to build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it.”

WTM: Xenophobes make up a large part of his base.

WTS: “I’m not going to tell you, so as not to alert the enemy to my plans.”

WTM: He has no idea what’s going on.

WTS: “I love the poorly educated.”

WTM: He loves the poorly educated. They make up a large part of his base.

WTS: “Everybody hates the United States.”

WTM: Since last Nov. 8.

WTS: “Fake news.”

WTM: Once again, someone has unearthed evidence.

WTS: “We’re going to Make America Great Again.”

WTM: He has no idea what’s going on.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former Pizza Hut assistant manager syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Click here for videos and a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, Elect to Laugh: 2016, appearing every Tuesday at The Marsh in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter: @willdurst and click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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