I encountered this sentence while wasting my time on twitter.
Literally no one would believe warm words about McCain from Trump were sincere so he’s better off not even making a pretense.
Assuming the above sentence is grammatically correct, I am puzzled by the use "were" and quite frankly is having a hard parsing the whole sentence structure. Is the "were" used here a subjunctive mood of "be", or is it used as the past tense of "be"?
The first half of the sentence seems to me a shortened version of "
If Trump said something warm..., no one would believe it is (were?) sincere.
i.e. second conditional/present and future unreal events. So I guess my real question is do we use subjunctive mood in the dependent clause of a consequence clause?