President Donald Trump might be panicking, according to observers. The new president’s manic behavior seems to be showing itself in his tweets more and more.
As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, Trump trying frantically to blame former President Barack Obama for Trump hiring retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn seemed to indicate some anxiety. Trump then decided to suggest former acting attorney general Sally Yates was behind the “illegal leaks” he’s been blaming on ex-Obama staff.
Trump’s frenzied flood of tweets trying to downplay Yates’ hearing or changing the subject make him look even more desperate. He then decided former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s testimony that claimed there’s “no evidence” of “collusion” between Russia and Trump’s campaign clears him of any possible guilt.
Benen cited Trump’s own profound love of his own tweet that he made it part of his Twitter banner graphic and only changed it after the internet humiliated him with mockery. He wondered what that awkward conversation between the poor White House aide ordered to change the graphic must have been like.
“Trump continues to struggle with reality with a confused understanding of the facts available and his fear is becoming more pronounced,” Benen explained. While Clapper seemed to give Trump a pass, it doesn’t mean the collusion never occurred, merely the investigation is still working to learn more.
When Clapper was asked Monday by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) if he ever found “a situation where a Trump business interest in Russia” gave him “concern.”
Clapper gave a curious response that he didn’t “in the course of the preparation of the intelligence community’s assessment.”
When pressed further he revealed he can’t comment on anything that could impact an investigation.
Benen included an interview by NBC’s Chuck Todd from a March interview with Clapper on “Meet the Press.” When asked about collusion there, Clapper said, “not to my knowledge.” The quote has been repeated over and over by members of the Trump team. But Monday’s testimony made Trump’s life a little more difficult. He couldn’t comment on an ongoing counterintelligence investigation — meaning there is still an investigation that continues into Trump and Russia.
“He essentially told the Senate subcommittee that he was not in a position to know for certain,” Benen wrote. “This piece of spin should now be buried. Trump can no longer hide behind this one Clapper statement.”
When it came to specifics on whether the campaign colluded with Russia, Yates said yesterday she couldn’t answer without revealing classified information. As Benen points out, neither of those statements are a win for Trump. Trump’s signature hyperbole and incautious need to spin the facts and quotes he wished people said to make him look even worse.
All the president’s grifters
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
One of Donald Trump's great gifts is an instinct for surrounding himself with people who are so sleazy and lacking in credibility that when they're indicted for some scam or flip on him and reveal his abuses of power they're easy to discredit.
Lara Trump appears to mock Biden’s stutter at campaign event: ‘Let’s get the words out, Joe’
President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law and campaign adviser Lara Trump appeared to mock former Vice President Joe Biden's stutter during a "Women for Trump" event Tuesday in Iowa.
This article first appeared in Salon.
"I feel kind of sad for Joe Biden," Lara Trump, who is the wife of Eric Trump, said. "I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage or they turn to him, I'm like: 'Joe, can you get it out? Let's get the words out, Joe.' You kinda feel bad for him. The problem is that's their front-runner, guys, OK?"
Former GOP strategist Rick Wilson: ‘Hating’ Trump is the key to winning in 2020
Rick Wilson has helped countless Republicans win elections over the years as one of the most sought-after GOP media consultants. His work, by his own admission, has contributed to the hyper-partisan, zero-sum political world that we live in today. But that was all B.T., or "Before Trump." Wilson is now using his mastery of the dark arts of politics to defeat the leader of the very party he helped build, as laid out in his new book, "Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump — and Democrats from Themselves."