Greg Sargent argues in today’s Washington Post that “The Trump camp’s spin on Russian interference is falling apart.” It’s amazing it held together even five minutes, but you need to talk to the mainstream media about that.
“Consider,” he says, “the buffoonishly weak response of two of his top advisers to the news of the last 24 hours.”
Yesterday, the Obama administration slapped new sanctions and other penalties on Russia over its possible interference, moves that The Post characterized as “the most far-reaching U.S. response to Russian activities since the end of the Cold War.”
This prompted senior Trump transition adviser Kellyanne Conway to go on CNN and argue that Obama’s measures were designed to “box in” the Trump administration by forcing them to make a tough choice later on whether to continue those retaliatory measures (which Putin seems to be betting against happening). Conway added that Obama might be playing “politics” and argued that he was imperiling the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
Meanwhile, incoming White House spokesman Sean Spicer haplessly tried to argue that the real story here is that Democrats allowed Russian hackers to breach their emails.
Yeah. It’s hard to know what to say sometimes. We live in a world where what experts say is almost certainly what happened is less likely to be true than a desperate attempt to blame Democrats for letting Putin hack them while declining to blame Trump for actually asking Putin to hack them.
And yes, the Democratic Party is supposed somehow to have cybersecurity better than the Russian government’s professional hackers. More victim blaming here, while the perpetrator walks away with a smile. Sounds a lot like Trump.
As Sargent puts it,
“All of this comes across as exactly what it is: Nothing more than a continued effort to downplay the seriousness of the charges of Russian interference. That’s the posture the Trump camp is stuck in right now, due to the decision from the guy at the top to continue waving away this story as if it doesn’t matter.”
There is just too much pressure to push forward with investigations for Trump to escape them. And it is not like hawkish John McCain is going to bend over backward to do Donald Trump any favors. McCain already doesn’t like Russia – or Trump. Yes, Trump has burned a few bridges on his way to the top.
Other Republicans aren’t so eager to forget the whole thing either, as Sargent points out, naming GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who said he can’t defend Trump’s position and has no intention of doing so: ““We can try to have a better relationship with Russia, but we also have to defend ourselves.”
Time, Sargent says, is going to catch up to Donald Trump and facts are not going to be his friend in this any more than any other endeavor he has flooded with lies and misdirection.
What Trump says in the corporate world goes, but it doesn’t work that way here. Not yet – not even with a Republican-controlled Congress.