For quite a while now, I’ve been saying that the most consistent pattern from Donald Trump when he feels threatened is to lie, distract, and blame. Nowhere is that more obvious than in tweets like these:
That is reminiscent of the presidential debate when Hillary Clinton accused him of being Putin’s puppet. Trump responded by saying “No puppet, no puppet, you’re the puppet.” In other words, he acted like a two year old.
The idea that it was actually Clinton and the Democrats who colluded with Russia has been a major part of the president’s defense crafted by him and his enablers. They claim that his opponent gathered dirt on him from Russians by hiring FusionGPS, who contracted with a former MI6 agent to compile the infamous Steele dossier. Anyone who buys into that idea doesn’t understand the difference between an investigation and collusion, which is very telling, given how they’re characterizing the Mueller investigation.
The gaping hole created by that defense is that neither Hillary Clinton nor the Democrats used the information they got from Christopher Steele to impact the election. Instead, it was turned over to the FBI, which is what anyone with a basic understanding of the stakes involved would have done.
But it is also interesting to examine Trump’s effort to lie, distract, and blame in light of this defense:
In that one tweet, Trump demonstrates the insanity of his defense. We’ve been hearing a lot about how collusion is not a crime from both the president and his lawyers. And yet somehow, collusion is an example of how Hillary Clinton is “crooked” and needs to be investigated (or locked up).
Frankly, I’ve given up trying to figure out whether this president knows he’s lying or is so delusional that he lives in a world completely unmoored from reality. I suspect that his mental state is more complicated than a choice between one or the other. The real problem is the fact that congressional Republicans, the president’s enablers in right-wing media, and his most avid supporters are either choosing to ignore the fact that what he says doesn’t make any sense–or they are buying into the delusion themselves.