Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He took to Twitter, during President Obama's farewell address, to dismiss news reports that his campaign had actively cooperated with Russia and that he was subject to sexual and financial blackmail.

Briefings compiled by a British intelligence operative known to American intelligence agencies were published today by Buzzfeed. They contain allegations that the Russian government is in possession of graphic video of sexual acts involving prostitutes, and that Trump and senior members of his campaign coordinated their efforts with Russia's selective leaks of stolen DNC e-mails. 

Both the Buzzfeed article and other related reportage published today note prominently that many of the details have not yet been corroborated. Trump's tweet referenced "fake news" but linked to Lifezette, which (among other things) has advanced the theory that Hillary Clinton murdered John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Trump's tweetstorm on the matter ran into President Obama's farewell address, which began at 9:00 p.m. EST. Obama's speech touched on the urgency of defending the principles of democracy. It equated the threat of "autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets in open democracies and civil society itself as a threat to their power" with that posed by terrorism.


  • It's not a good sign if one president cannot leave office without being upstaged by the scandal response of the incoming president.
  • Presidents don't get to complain when the media reports on things that make them look bad.
  • It's bad if it's even plausible that a president could be subject to financial extortion or sexual blackmail.