Writing in the Washington Post this Monday, Greg Sargent highlights President Trump’s claim that intelligence officials didn’t communicate to him the full extent of the coronavirus threat, saying that even if the claim were true, it would not be exonerating in the least.
“First, as The Post reported, intelligence agencies were issuing ‘ominous’ classified warnings all throughout January and February about the ‘global danger’ posed by the pandemic. Those warnings ‘increased in volume toward the end of January,’ which is to say, at precisely the time Trump claims officials told him it was no biggie,” Sargent writes. “Keep that timeline in mind as you watch the emerging public spin. After Trump made this claim, a spokesperson for the director of national intelligence told CNN that Trump is correct about at least the timing — he was briefed on Jan. 23 and was told ‘the virus did not appear that deadly,’ as CNN put it.”
But there still another layer to Trump’s “bottomless narcissism,” according to Sargent.
“Recall that Trump disastrously downplayed the coronavirus in part because he saw official warnings about it as a continuation of the ‘deep state’ plot to bring him down, which he raged at intelligence officials about all throughout the Russia investigation and impeachment,” writes Sargent. “Now that history of attacks, perversely enough, will make it more likely that intelligence officials prop up his latest spin.”
Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.