John Krull: Maybe he had his fingers crossed when he took the oath


At last, Donald Trump told the truth.

He said he had no intention of honoring the oath he took when he became president of the United States nearly six years ago.

That was when he put his hand on the Bible and pledged:

“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

He made that vow in front of God and everyone. He swore a sacred oath that he would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Skeptical observers doubted from the beginning that Trump ever meant it. Nothing in the man’s life history indicated that he ever had read America’s foundational charter, much less that he felt bound to meet the responsibilities it imposed on him.

His story had been that of an adolescent locked in a man’s body, a being incapable of self-discipline and self-sacrifice, two essential qualities for performing any duty, including the awesome one of being the leader of the free world. He was the guy who refused to honor marriage vows, who ducked out on legitimate debts either by declaring bankruptcy or just disavowing any sense of obligation, who evaded military service and who always found someone else to blame for his many failures and screw-ups.

The notion that he could pledge himself to anything other than his own narrowly defined interest was absurd.

But some people swallowed his line.

Many others in the Republican Party thought, mistakenly, that they could use him to achieve their goals without compromising themselves, their principles and their reputations.

They were wrong.

Trump gave away the con a few days ago when he posted on Truth Social:

“Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

For the moment, we’ll set aside Trump’s rather erratic notions of capitalization and punctuation and focus on at least three more important things.

The first is that the man never has produced anything close to proof that the 2020 presidential election was unfair in any way. He and his allies filed more than 60 lawsuits challenging the results. Many of those suits were heard by judges Trump himself had appointed. None of them went anywhere because Trump offered no evidence that anything irregular had happened.

The second thing is that Trump was the head of the executive branch of the federal government during the 2020 election. As such, one of his duties involved making sure that the election was fairly conducted. If that didn’t happen, that means he didn’t do his job.

The third thing is the most important.

Trump’s post means that he cares not at all about the Constitution.

Or the country for that matter.

All that matters to him is that he shouldn’t have to acknowledge that he failed. He can’t bring himself to behave like an adult, much less a statesman.

And that vow he took before God and everyone with his hand on the Bible?

Empty, empty, empty words.

But this shouldn’t be a surprise. Anyone who contemplated Donald Trump with open eyes could see who and what he was — a petulant, self-absorbed child skilled at manipulating the gullible.

We have confirmation now that his word is worthless.

But that’s not the point.

Trump didn’t do the damage to this country that he did without the help of myriad other Republicans, many of whom love to tout the oaths they took to defend Constitution and country and boast that they are strict constitutional constructionists.

We now know, because we have proof from his own mouth, that Donald Trump never cared about the Constitution.

And those Republicans who continue to back and condone his assaults on constitutional principles?

Well, we’ll know that they don’t care about the Constitution, either.

John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. The views expressed are those of the author only and should not be attributed to Franklin College. Send comments to [email protected].

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