The president of the United States is in Paris to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. I wonder if Donald Trump has any plans to meet with his friend “Jim.” According to the president, Jim used to love Paris, but now Jim doesn’t go anymore because the city is fraught with foreign extremists. I wonder if the president talked to Jim about Paris before he left. I also wonder if Jim is even real.
I wish I were joking. In fact, out of all the silly things I’ve written about the president, this one might be the scariest. It sounds like the president of the Southernmost states and 53 percent of white woman (Northerners and sane white women don’t claim this man as their president) has an imaginary friend named Jim who talks back to him.
According to the Associated Press, it’s unclear whether “Jim,” whom the president has referenced several time in speeches, even exists. Trump has never given Jim’s last name, and the White House would not confirm whether Jim would be accompanying the president on his visit Thursday, according to AP.
Here’s how AP chronicled the curious case of Jim’s Raggedy Dick-like narrative:
Trump repeatedly talked about the enigmatic Jim while on the campaign trail, but his friend didn’t receive widespread attention until Trump became president. For Trump, Jim’s story serves as a cautionary tale—a warning that even a place as lovely as Paris can be ruined if leaders are complacent about terrorism.
Jim’s biggest moment in the spotlight was during a high-profile Trump speech in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. Trump explained that Jim “loves the City of Lights, he loves Paris. For years, every year during the summer, he would go to Paris. It was automatic, with his wife and his family.”
Trump one day asked Jim: “How’s Paris doing?”
“’Paris?” Jim replied, as relayed by Trump. “‘I don’t go there anymore. Paris is no longer Paris.’”
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, responded by tweeting a photo of herself with Mickey and Minnie Mouse inviting Trump “and his friend Jim” to France to “celebrate the dynamism and the spirit of openness of #Paris.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has created a character to serve his purposes. In 1991 he masqueraded as a publicist named “John Miller” for an interview with People magazine. As Miller, Trump bragged about how well he was doing financially and noted that several models and singer Madonna all wanted to go with him, now that he’d split from his wife, Ivana.
A year before the interview with People, Trump testified in court that he’d used the John Miller name.
“I believe on occasion I used that name,” Trump said, the Washington Post reported.
Trump would later deny that he pretended to be a publicist named John Miller, but in 2016, when he was questioned by Post reporters about whether he’d ever employed someone named John Miller, the phone went silent and then dead.
When the reporters called back and reached Trump’s secretary, she said, “I heard you got disconnected. He can’t take the call now. I don’t know what happened,” The Post reports.
And get this. During his early years in business, Trump often used the name “John Barron,” who is described as a “vice president of the Trump organization” in a New York Times piece, but was also quoted as a “Trump spokesman,” “Trump executive” or “Trump representative” in New York magazine, the Washington Post and other publications, according to the Post.
Sounds like someone—and by “someone” I mean an orange someone who used Russia hackers to force his way into the White House—has a fixation with creating people that don’t exist.
Sounds like someone—and by “someone” I mean the pussy grabber who stole the highest office in the land—is well-versed in fake news.
Read more at the Associated Press and the Washington Post.