President Trump has an imaginary friend, it appears — or doesn’t appear, as the case may be.
His name is Jim. He is, according to Trump, “a very, very substantial guy.” He lives in Trump’s stump speeches against immigration and terrorism. He’s never been seen. Trump hasn’t given his last name. The White House won’t comment on him and — in a development that you’d think would clear the matter up — he can’t be located.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump mentioned Jim in relation to Paris’ terror attacks, which he used to criticize immigrants. “For all things Paris, President Trump’s go-to-guy is Jim,” reported the Associated Press.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Trump mentioned his pal, and how his travel plans were disrupted by the infiltration of “foreign extremists.”
“[Jim] loves the City of Lights; he loves Paris,” said Trump. “For years, every year during the summer, he would go to Paris. It was automatic, with his wife and his family.”
Trump said he once asked Jim: “How’s Paris doing?”
“Paris?” Jim replied, as recalled by Trump. “I don’t go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris.”
Paris’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, responded by tweeting a photo of herself, inviting Trump “and his friend Jim” to visit.
There is no evidence the besties took her up on the invitation.
À Donald et son ami Jim, depuis @LaTourEiffel nous célébrons l’attractivité de #Paris avec Mickey et Minnie. pic.twitter.com/unuRB1traY
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) February 24, 2017
Earlier this year, the New Yorker attempted to locate Jim, via Trump’s known connections by that name. The magazine’s Paris correspondent reported that Trump doesn’t follow any Jims on Twitter but that it was easy to find Jims with whom he has crossed paths, including Buffalo Bills player Jim Kelly, Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan, golfer Jim Furyk, footwear mogul Jim Davis, and Jim Inhofe, a senator and climate-change denier, all of whom refuted being the Jim in question or were ruled out for one reason or another.
The search for Jim will doubtlessly continue.
This is only the latest blip on the spectrum that is Trump’s lifetime of fabrications.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Trump was known to call up news outlets and pose as his own publicist, named “John Baron” and “John Miller.” He launched his political career by saying that “a highly credible source” had proof that President Obama was not born in the United States. And as president, he has made unsubstantiated allegations that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, depriving him of a victory in the popular vote.