Yesterday, President Trump publicly declared that he’s taken Vladimir Putin’s word over the word of the American intelligence community and the Justice Department on the matter of whether or not Russia attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections and is planning to do so again in 2018.
The statements were unambiguous and startling even for this President. The reaction has been near uniform condemnation from all political angles save core Trump supporters who have been mostly silent. We should expect some surge in response from them today as they’ve had a day to get the message together.
My best guess is it will be some kind of attack on the IC and DOJ to at least open up some daylight for the POTUS to seem wise and contrarian instead of weak or treasonous.
What yesterday did do though, was open the floor for some of the more serious minds that cover American Politics to weigh in, now that there is something besides the unhelpful activity of trying to read the tea leaves of the Mueller investigation.
Jonah Goldberg from the LA Times: LINK
Goldberg’s takes the tone of something I wrote in an essay almost three years ago when I first addressed the then Trump campaign while writing the essays that would eventually become my book Sixteen. LINK
I still refuse to comment on the Trump/Russia conspiracy theories. Less because I don’t believe any could be true but instead because we simply don’t know. Claiming to know is a litmus test for folks you should take with a grain of salt. But what I do know, in observing Donald Trump for more than 30 years, and watching how he handled his businesses in Atlantic City, my home town, is that he’s never served anything in his life bigger than himself. And in every transaction what matters most how that transaction reflects on him. Yesterday, he showed that deficiency has not yet found its limit.
Bankrupting businesses was ok as long as everyone knew he got out fine. When people who disagree with him fail at things that have nothing to do with their disagreement, it was because they’re the type of person foolish enough to disagree with DJT. That behavior has continued into the presidency and impacted foreign relations, politics and trade.
And now, it sounds like it’s impacting national security.
One can talk tough on crime and trade and build walls and incarcerate poor women and children when they try to enter the country illegally. But if DJT can’t help but take the side of an autocratic KGB despot when proof that his country is trying to hurt America simply because of how it may make DJT’s victory in the 2016 election look, then DJT is making America less safe.
I’m willing to hear arguments to the contrary. Because this doesn’t feel good.