President Donald Trump spent months flatly claiming there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. But on Thursday, he told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he would gladly accept campaign dirt from a foreign government in the next election — and wouldn't necessarily call the FBI about it.
On MSNBC's "Hardball," author and former naval cryptologist Malcolm Nance laid out how this contradiction was part of a pattern of gaslighting behavior from the president.
"The nerviness of the guy last night, to say, 'I will take the dirt. I'll do it. The government can send me dirt,'" said anchor Chris Matthews. "And then he mentions Norway, as if he doesn't have any idea that we're all talking the last two years about his dealings with Russia. He didn't see the elephant in the room, it's called Russia. And he's trying to go to — he always talks about Norway for some weird reason. But in this case it was ludicrous."
"You know, Donald Trump has this pattern of behavior that if you look at it carefully, he always follows," said Nance. "First, he lies. Then, he deceives and misinforms you. And at some point, he arrogantly confesses, and challenges you to even think of saying what's wrong with that, everybody does it. He has normalized the presidential lie."
"To wit, Barack Obama's foreign-born, he cheated his way to the United States, he pulled a whole thing. Nobody knew him at school, the whole phantom theory. And then he said, one day, right before the 2016 election, 'Barack Obama's a natural born American citizen, let's move on.' Just like you said. It's outrageous, but it's Trump."