The Toxicity of Lie, Distract and Blame

It’s hard to overstate the bombshell Comey just dropped on the Trump administration by saying publicly that the FBI is investigating their campaign for possible collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. While it is something most of us have been assuming for a while now, it is monumentally significant. But since it’s an ongoing investigation, there is not much else that Comey can say.

What was more conclusive about Comey’s testimony is that he stated that neither the FBI nor anyone in the entire Justice Department has found evidence to support Trump’s claim that former President Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Towers. Essentially this is the Justice Department suggesting that the president lied. Let that one sink in for a moment.

There are those (even Republicans) who are now suggesting that Trump should retract his claims and/or apologize.

That is as it should be.

But I will remind you of what Trump’s personality disorder pattern is at moments like this. He never admits fault because, to him, that would signal weakness. When faced with a challenge to his fantasy of always being successful and dominant, he lies, distracts and blames.

For example, championing the lie of birtherism was not Trump’s fault because Hillary started it. Suggesting that the UK was enlisted to spy on his campaign was not Trump’s fault – they heard it on Fox News. Trump didn’t lose the popular vote – it was all those illegals who voted.

So I’m not going to hold my breath for any retractions or apologies.

As the heat is turned up on both Trump’s lies about Obama and his possible collusion with Vladimir Putin to win the election, what we are more likely to see is an escalation of the lie, distract and blame pattern. That escalation will only deepen the sense of distrust that already exists between this president and the media, Congress and the intelligence community. That distrust is spreading and infecting the entire system with a kind of toxicity.

This is in reference to the fact that yesterday Comey testified that the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russia began in July but they didn’t inform Congressional leaders about it until last month.

This is the crisis that is currently engulfing our entire political system. The sooner everyone — including the media, Democrats and even Republicans — recognize that, the better prepared we’ll be to deal with it and restore some sanity.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.