Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Trump Is His Own Worst Enemy
In truth we didn't really learn anything new from the House Intelligence Committee yesterday, because we already knew everything they confirmed. But what they did confirm, without saying so, is that the president is a liar, that his White House is corrupt because it also lies at his behest, that the president is willing to say anything that comes into his head in an attempt to distract from his other problems and expects his underlings to follow suit.
We learnt that there were no wire taps of Trump Tower because that was always a nonsense. We learnt that there was no involvement by GCHQ because that was an absurdity and an offensive one.
We also learnt that the Trump campaign may well have had communications with Russian officials and that this is being investigated. Oh and Sean Spicer effectively admitted that this was known to them anyway because he said that those doing the communicating were hangers on. But wait, hangers on with access to Trump Tower? To what were they hanging on and with what level of access? Hangers on seems an odd choice of phrase for something with national security implications doesn't it?
And of course Trump is refusing to apologise for his lies about Barack Obama. This is characteristic of the man. It is just what Trump does. But when will he learn that sometimes you have to retreat? His advisers will probably tell him now to simply go quiet on the subject and leave well alone. The media will eventually move on. The problem is that this tantrum throwing toddler president is incapable of admitting he is wrong, mistaken or of apologising. And so when an interviewer raises the subject he will simply repeat the lie, or make it worse. He has been doing that now for the past fortnight.
There may genuinely be nothing to the Russian links. It may well be just normal communications. But the FBI does not investigate something without cause to do so. And the media is asking questions not based on silly conspiracy theories like Trump alleged over Obama, but based on circumstantial evidence that suggests there are questions to be answered. That is not the same as saying that something definitely happened. It is just looking at the evidence and wondering why Michael Flynn lied, why communications were covered up, why Trump so frequently defends and praises Putin, why there are so many in Trump's inner circle during the campaign like Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Flynn, Sessions and adviser Roger Stone who have had contacts or financial dealings with Russia or Russian entities. It may be nothing. But it may not be. Only by investigating will the FBI find out.
Ultimately though, if this is nothing then why not be open and honest, cooperate with investigations, open up communications, release tax returns? Why do they persist in making it look as though they have something to hide? That is why the suspicions have just been getting stronger and stronger. Is Trump making matters worse for himself just because this is what he does, because he cannot help himself? Or is he genuinely fearful of what might come out, what has been going on? I suspect it is the latter. But we cannot know for sure at the moment and Trump is his own worst enemy. His style has always been pugilistic and to never ever back down. It may well be what brings him down and sooner than we all think. If they have something to hide then the FBI's acknowledgement that they are indeed investigating will have sparked fears, especially given that James Comey, the FBI Director, declined to go into any more detail than to confirm the existence of the investigation. No amount of deflection is going to get him out of this. Humility, apologies and openness just might if there genuinely is nothing to these suspicions as they keep claiming.