Trump’s ‘narcissistic reflex’ ends up incriminating him in Russian bounty scandal: op-ed
US President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka. (AFP / Brendan Smialowski)

Writing in the Washington Post this Wednesday, columnist Greg Sargent contends that when in comes to President Trump, it’s often difficult to "locate the point where his utter lack of self awareness blends into sheer shamelessness." That conundrum is all the more apparent with his response to revelations that Russia paid the Taliban bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers.

"Trump is now defending himself not just by claiming he wasn’t briefed on that intelligence, or just by contesting the significance of that intelligence. Instead, he’s declaring that the entire story simply doesn’t exist — that is, he’s suggesting no intelligence ever actually indicated anything like this," Sargent writes. "Yet this defense is itself deeply self-incriminating. It only underscores what critics are saying — that at minimum, Trump should be taking this intelligence seriously and trying to get to the bottom of what it actually does indicate, even if the worst interpretation proves wrong."

While there's still a lot we don't know about the Russian bounties story, what we do know is that Trump should be taking a lot more interest in it that he currently is. Instead, Trump wants to deny its significance.

"Why isn’t he saying publicly that he will not rest until he learns everything there is to know about these assessments?" Sargent writes. "Making this more glaring, officials are investigating possible links between bounties and specific lethal attacks on U.S. troops."

"Such a narcissistic reflex itself ensures that Trump won’t act for the good of the country."

Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.