So far, the general consensus on the allegations contained in the whistleblower complaint against Donald Trump is that the President, in coordination with Vice President Mike Pence, illegally asked the government of Ukraine to “look into” former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s dealings in the former Soviet Republic — a sort of dirt-digging expedition in the same vein as the illegal Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in 2016 that led to the exchange of compromising material on Hillary Clinton for an easing of Obama-imposed sanctions on Russia.
On its face, this is immoral, unethical, and highly illegal. But Congress is having a difficult time getting its hands on the actual facts of the case, because the Director of National Intelligence, in an unprecedented move, has withheld the whistleblower complaint that apparently covers not just a single phone call by Trump, but a series of inappropriate high-level conversations that the Intelligence community’s Inspector General found “urgent and credible.”
Trump simply ignored it all first, not bothering to respond to the allegations. But as the swell of public outcry grew, the President resorted to a tried-and-true method that has worked for him in the past: Having Rudy Giuliani go on television and essentially say “so what if he DID do that?”
Today in the Oval Office, Trump muddied the situation even more, as best he could. Asked by a reporter if he knew the identity of the whistleblower, Trump said no, but that he did know it was someone “partisan” — an easy fallback for a President who simply relies on the opposition party as the boogeyman for everything.
Moments after claiming that he didn’t remember the conversation which led to the accusations the whistleblower has leveled, Trump told reporters that it was “a totally appropriate conversation, it was actually a beautiful conversation.”
Unchallenged on that bit of self-contradictory nonsense, Trump went on to chastise the press for getting a bunch of things wrong (that they actually got right) and encouraged them to keep talking about the whistleblower’s claims, because it would make them look more foolish in the end.
As a writer of news, I can’t personally recall the last time I was frightened off a story by someone who would look bad in my story threatening me that I would look foolish if I published it, but perhaps the President believes his reverse psychology will be effective with Reuters, the AP, or the Washington Post.
Watch the exchange here:
Featured image via screen capture
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