Andrew Harnik, AP
In this Jan. 14, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump, right, accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to members of the media as they arrive for a dinner at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Like most Washington institutions, the Metropolitan Club, where I regularly attend a “just for fun” luncheon group, is full of very lovable, loud, liberal Democrats. They all hate Trump. As an independent, I strive to see the good in Trump; I bend over backwards to mention the booming economy in favor of the president amongst the luncheon’s ceaseless criticism. Even if they concede the point that there are some positives coming out of Trump’s administration, they point to some new tweet or barnyard epithet he has uttered. The most recent was President Trump’s alleged comments regarding the “Dreamers” immigration debate.

If all the senators of both parties present were so shocked and indignant at President Trump’s alleged slur, why didn’t they walk out of the meeting? Certainly the deeply offended and quick-tongued Sen. Durbin, D-IL, should have spoken up directly to Trump. Instead, my sources tell me he went back up to Capitol Hill and called a news conference. Durbin did speak in the meeting several times, but if he was so aghast, why didn’t he say so during the meeting? Why didn’t any of the other senators present walk out? Instead, they spent the last week saying how personally shocked they were at this alleged, horrible, racist remark. It seems that Sen. Graham responded indirectly, but my sources tell me no senator present directly rebutted the alleged comment.

Some of the present senators say they did not hear the specific slur — including Sens. Cotton and Perdue. This all makes it very dubious in my mind. I have had several conversations with Donald Trump over the years. I have been a guest of his at Mar-a-Lago and played golf with him. Never have I heard an improper word. To me, he has always been a polite conversationalist.

And therein lies the mystery of Donald Trump — he was elected president of the United States openly using tweets and words that offend some, and still he won a spectacular victory. He is able to communicate with the common man without going through the traditional media — and it drives them crazy.

I have said in previous columns that I voted for Hillary Clinton on free trade and other issues. But I have grown a little tired of the knee-jerk trashing of Donald Trump.

Let’s have tough criticism of our president, but he also deserves fair consideration. He will no doubt continue to tweet, but we must continue our conversations in national life. We cannot dismiss his ideas over what appears to be a semantical misunderstanding. President Harry Truman used a lot of barnyard language — especially when his daughter's piano playing was criticized — or when he was addressing the "do nothing" Republican Congress, and the Democrats, the media and historians loved it.

48 comments on this story

Maybe the opposite will hold true for Trump. We need more legal immigrants in the U.S. Strangely enough, Trump has essentially agreed to just that if his wall and border security are included. The Democrats should accept the wall so we can get on with DACA and immigration reform.

Sen. Larry Pressler was a U.S. senator for 18 years and congressman for four years. He is a Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law graduate, a Vietnam veteran and the author of "Neighbours in Arms: An American Senator’s Quest for Disarmament in a Nuclear Subcontinent."