Monday, December 12, 2016

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lied about whether Russian interference in his election had been brought up during the election itself.

In fact, Russian attempts to influence the election were reported on exhaustively at many points. Hillary Clinton brought it up at the first and second debates; Trump was asked directly about it in the third. In October, the Director of National Intelligence released a statement, widely reported on, stating that the US was "confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises." His running mate Mike Pence said a week later that there was "no question that the evidence continues to point" to Russia and that it should be investigated.

Trump himself directly and explicitly asked Russia on live TV to "find" deleted e-mails from Hillary Clinton's private server during a press conference on July 27.

Trump's tweet was part of a larger media push to make it seem like the CIA's conclusion that Russia had interfered to help Trump get elected was sour grapes from Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans.

So what?

  • Presidents should not ask Americans to believe things that are obviously, provably, fantastically untrue.
  • It's very, very bad if a president acts like he doesn't care if the election that brought him to power was tainted.