I categorically refuse to believe the “pee tape” is real, as that plot twist is too implausible and low-rent even for the cosmic lunatics who are writing the simulation we’re all living in.

But as the evidence mounts that POTUS did indeed spend one full night and part of another in Moscow in 2013, it does leave you to wonder why he would have told James Comey that he didn’t. I have a pedestrian theory for that, but I think most Trump critics are of two minds: (1) He was up to something collusion-y with the Kremlin, or (2) the pee tape is real.

Thomas Roberts, host of that year’s Miss Universe pageant, confirmed to The Daily Beast on Tuesday that Trump was in Moscow for one full night and at least part of another.

“The first time I met Donald Trump it was in Moscow on November 8th, 2013,” the former NBC anchor said. “I taped a sit-down interview with Trump the next day on November 9th. That was also the date for the Miss Universe broadcast.”

Roberts continued: “During the after-party for the Miss Universe event, Mr. Trump offered to fly me and my husband back to New York. He said he would be leaving directly from the party. We were unable to accept the invitation. That was the early morning hours of November 10th.”

Do the math and you’ll see how unlikely it is that anyone would fly from the east coast of the United States to Moscow, attend an event in the evening, then get out of dodge before the sun comes up. There’s a time difference of eight hours and a flight will run 9-10 hours. If Trump leaves the U.S. at, say, 8 p.m., it’s already 4 a.m. the next day in Moscow. He would land at around 2 p.m., have a few hours before the pageant that evening, then have to hop back on the plane a few hours after it ends for another nine or ten-hour marathon. In other words, roughly 20 hours of air travel for half that amount of time on the ground. Why do that when you’re a rich man and can afford a luxurious room for a decent night’s sleep? And why fly in on the day of the event when there are pre-show events and socializing in the days beforehand?

If you believe Comey, Trump told him twice that people who’d been on the Moscow trip with him reminded him that he hadn’t stayed overnight. I don’t think it’s glaringly implausible that POTUS might have honestly forgotten how long he was there. He does a lot of traveling, after all. But to the extent that he deliberately misled Comey, you don’t need to read the lie as “consciousness of guilt.” (Guilt of what? Even if the pee tape were real, that’s not a crime.) It may have been as simple as Comey catching Trump off-guard with the report of the “golden showers” episode from the dossier and Trump, flustered, resorting in a moment of anxiety to doing what comes naturally — namely, BSing people. Instead of simply insisting to Comey that the “pee tape” thing is a smear, which is likely true but hard to prove, he reached for some factual claim which, if true, would have cleared him: He wasn’t there overnight! Unfortunately for him, there were ways to debunk that based on circumstantial evidence. So now he’s stuck looking deceptive when, in all probability, nothing eventful happened on his trip but he had no way of substantiating that so he lied.

Now let me drop a truth-bomb on you about the mythical pee tape, should it mysteriously emerge: No one who isn’t predisposed to believe it’s real will believe it’s real, no matter how clear the image appears. We already know why. Trump will insist that it’s a fake and will point to the astonishing verisimilitude and sophistication of faked video footage nowadays as evidence that he’s being set up. If a rando from reddit can fool the average eye, he’ll say, imagine what professionals in the “deep state” or the media (or, ahem, the Russian government) can do. And he’ll have a point. It will be very difficult to trust a too-perfect video “expose” of the president, particularly one that the public’s been primed to expect by the dossier. In the “deep fakes” age, we’re gaslit unto eternity.