Two things happening this week that caught my attention.

First, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled to Baghdad and promised that, in spite of the president’s campaign statements to the contrary, the United States would not attempt to seize Iraq’s oil.

Second, the vice president traveled to Germany to talk about NATO, and shared what he said was a message from the president, which again contradicted his domestic rhetoric: “[T]he United States of America strongly supports NATO and will be unwavering in our commitment to this trans-Atlantic alliance.”

The message here seems to be that the president is more than willing to lie to the American public, with the goal of inducing domestic fear and anxiety, while sending a more even-tempered message abroad.

This is not normal. Shouldn’t a president’s primary concern be honest communication and thoughtful polices aimed the well-being of the people he or she is elected to serve?

(The answer is: Yes.)

It’s Thursday, the 23rd of February, 2017.

Follow me on Twitter at @DecisionLab