Appearances are often misleading.

Your child comes home from school the day report cards are handed out, but he does not have one. You assume that he is hiding poor grades. You question him as to why he has no report card, and he tells you that he received straight A’s but that he did not want to make too big a deal of it and come off as boastful and make his classmates uncomfortable.

You know your son and think this is nonsense, but you check with his teacher anyway and find out that he actually did receive all A’s and is telling the truth. Again, appearances can be misleading.

So the moral of this story is do not jump to conclusions. You should not for any individual other than President Donald J. Trump. When it comes to Trump, the handwriting on the wall is just too persuasive to come to any other conclusion than this guy is hiding an awful lot for some very shady reasons.

Trump does not want to release his tax returns like the presidents of the last 50 years have each done. He claims that he cannot because they are under audit even though there is no preclusion to release tax returns under the IRS audit, and he has not even presented any evidence that they are, indeed, under any audit.

If an audit is not a valid reason for refusing to release tax returns of any year, then what could be the real motivation?

Could it be that he is not the multibillionaire he wants the public to believe he is? Could it be he does not want the public to become aware of the financial ties he has to foreign entities such as Russia? Could it be both reasons? Whatever the reason, it is not because his tax returns are subject to an IRS audit. In this case, appearances are not all that deceiving.

Trump claims that he is a “stable genius” and “knows the best words,” went to the best schools, is a “very smart person.”

Yet, he has threatened the schools he has attended with a lawsuit if they reveal his school transcripts. Could it be because, like the example I provided in the opening paragraph, Trump is, at his core, a humble person and not one to boast or brag? Trump? You’ve got to be kidding! More likely, much more likely, his school transcripts will reveal that he is the complete idiot that he shows himself to be every time he opens his mouth. Again, appearances can be deceiving, but not when it comes to Trump’s intelligence or lack thereof.

Trump claims to be a great businessman, a great dealmaker. Yet, his business record is racked with bankruptcies and failed ventures from his Atlantic City casinos to his Trump Airline, his Trump Steaks, his Trump Mortgage company, and, maybe most of all, his Trump University which is far more famous for the number of lawsuits than the number of useful college degrees. Appearances, in this case, are revealing, not deceiving.

Trump claims to be quite the ladies man, yet he has to rely on his money for sex. Just ask Stormy Daniels.

Trump portrays himself as quite the philanthropist, yet it was his Trump foundation, not the Clinton foundation that he railed against, that was shut down by the U.S. Attorney’s office for misappropriation of funds. No misunderstanding of appearances here.

Trump portrays himself as a true patriot and hugs the American flag every chance he gets and is never without his American flag lapel pin. Yet he dodged the Vietnam era draft with a “doctored” claim of bone spurs. He then went on to belittle the heroics of true war heroes like John McCain and Robert Mueller. The American flag needs a washing every time he wraps himself around it.

He presents himself as a religious man even though he only finds himself in a church when attending a funeral. I guess getting the support of the hypocritical evangelicals does count for something; other than votes, though, I don’t know what in terms of religiousness.

So, when he claims that there is an emergency at the Southern border, know that that claim is only to attempt to justify moving already appropriated funds to build his wall. There was no immediate threat — only an immediate concocted lie.

Further, when he attempts to justify his decision to assassinate an Iranian military leader, as heinous as Qassem Soleimani was, that decision was not based on an “imminent” threat. It was based on purely political reasons as he, Trump himself, stated in 2011 when he claimed President Barack Obama would take military actions against Iran to help his chances in the 2012 election. Obama did not; Trump did.

One thing that Trump has said that rings true is “an innocent man does not plead the fifth.” That rings true for Trump when he refused to testify before the Special Counsel investigating Russian influence in our election.

Responding to written questions is not the same as testifying to prove one’s innocence, especially when almost all of the responses are a variation on “I don’t recall.” Similarly, Trump’s refusal to testify, as Bill Clinton did, before either his impeachment inquiry or trial, further substantiates his guilt. Appearances are not deceiving when it comes to Trump’s refusal to testify in any of these instances; it is, further proof of guilt.

Appearances can certainly be misleading, but in Trump World, what you see is what you get.

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