President Donald J. Trump has admitted that the meeting at Trump tower between his son and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was planned for the specific purpose of gathering information on Hillary Clinton. The very opposite of "NO COLLUSION". Whether Trump knew about it or not he has thrown his own son under the proverbial political bus. In the course of the last year of the Mueller investigation:
- Trump Jr. claimed that he never met any Russians in any campaign capacity
- President Trump personally dictated a false statement about the substance of the meeting
- The presidents lawyer falsely claimed that the president was not involved in drafting the statement
Now the narrative has changed so that the meeting did happen, but there is nothing wrong and illegal about the meeting. You are also supposed to believe that the president did not know about the meeting beforehand.
Why would he change his story? The day before the president's tweet The Washington Post printed a story saying that Trump was worried about Trump Jr.'s legal trouble. It appears that the president can easily be goaded into an admission of guilt based on his constant consumption of media pertaining to himself.
When Trump does this he leaves everyone in his orbit holding the bag and having to explain away their own lies to cover Trump's lies. Jay Sekulow, Trumps attorney had to admit that he was wrong when he denied the presidents involvement in drafting the false statement regarding adoption.
Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pence all claimed that the Trump campaign had no foreign contacts during the election. They were either lying or painfully ignorant as is evident by Trumps tweet.
The truth will come to light soon enough about what the president did and did not know. What I find fascinating is that he expects people to forget about all the previous denials regarding the meeting.
On July 8, 2017 Trump Jr. told New York Times, "It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared (Kushner) and Paul (Manafort) to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up."
Which means that his wonderful son is a liar. Did the president really think this through before he tweeted this admission? Did he ask his lawyers if it was a good idea? Most definitely not. It would appear that if you are Robert Mueller you need only wait for the president to tweet out enough rope to hang himself.
The Grifter In Chief
In November 2016 I had a few friends tell me not to worry that the American electorate had put a professional con artist in the White House. "It would be fine" they said. A year in a half into his presidency there's nary a positive move Trump has made. From his beta-male meeting with Putin, being a belligerent ass at the NATO summit, to the psychologically damaging nightmare of child separation still happening today, his presidency has been an absolute dumpster fire. His lawyers are abandoning him like rats fleeing a ship importing syphilis. He's on his third National Security advisor, this is his C team working with him. He's an international joke and an embarrassment.
The well is deep on Trump. I dedicated the whole first season of my podcast, The Wiretap to his early presidency. Looking back, every event we covered seems moot. It was worse than Steve Bannon having security clearance. It was worse than having Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. They're gone now and we have a fresh new hell awaiting us daily in our Twitter feed.
Trump's August 5 tweet is just one example of his lies. He lies all the time as a matter of course. These aren't the usual political mistruths, these are vagrant falsehoods which have no relationship with reality whatsoever. Trump appears to dislike actually doing presidential work. He seems to prefer having a gathering of his supporters surrounding him and a microphone in front of his maw so that he can spew ridiculous lies to a crowd of people who won't question him.
He's still campaigning even though he won. Being a showman is easier than being a leader for him. Since he's incapable of adapting and learning what he already doesn't know, he's sticking to the routine that got him to where he is today. Bluster, blame, cruelty and unending victimhood. His supporters claim that he's a tough guy when he's really whiniest, most petulant child who ever made it to 72 years of age. Everything is being done TO him, it's never his fault. It's the Democrats, it's the media, it's Mueller and the deep state. There is no ownership on his part whatsoever.
He's a compromised, weak little man in the pocket of Putin. He wants you to buy his narrative so you won't uncover what an inept, useless waste of food he actually is. He lacks the moral character and reliability to run an underground bum-fighting ring. His word has less value than the Greek Euro and as much believability as the Qanon conspiracy his sycophantic supporters flock to.
If Trump has a talent, it's that he's willing to bend the truth in ways others aren't able to. He can walk in to a room full of people, grab all the attention and tell everyone exactly what they want to hear. Afterwards, he can walk away from the people he made promises to and not deliver on anything he said. He can do all of this without the burden of moral consciousness. This is what he means when he calls himself "a genius". It's not that he has a shred of book smarts. In his own mind, he is a genius because he's the king of the bullshitters.
Men like Trump exist in society typically in the dark underbelly of said society. Their place is in the shady places where illicit backroom deals are made to the detriment of one poor mark or another. They do well to shy away from the limelight, for exposure leads to consequences for their crimes. This is the wisdom any mid-level criminal would give to their associates and it's what keeps their long con running.
It also happens to be wisdom that Trump apparently lacks. His rightful place is in the jealous sniveling corners of the internet throwing barbs at any individual he deems worthy of his wrath. In the darkness there is freedom to pay off porno stars for their poor judgement and cheat business associates out of agreed sums of money. One can escape such unscrupulous behavior relatively unscathed especially with the help of a shady lawyer.
No, Trump felt like he had the goods to actually become president. To bring his own brand of sniveling back-biting to the White House. The seven deadly sins are greed, lust, gluttony, envy, pride, wrath and sloth. These sins are more like personal traits to Trump, but envy might be the one that brought him all the way to where he is today. You can actually blame Obama in a strange, twisted way. For eight years and intelligent, diligent, articulate African American president was his supposed "superior". Obama was top of the heap, the highest tip of the pyramid of dominance. To Trump, "president" equals "boss of everyone". He wanted that gold ring missing from his collection.
What was he willing to do to get there? Anything. Cheat, lie, deceive, pay off Stormy Daniels, you name it. He didn't think twice when Russia decided to step in and help. Why would he? The point of an election is to win, patriotism be damned.
So here we are. Trump is a uniquely American problem. If American society truly punished thievery and greed, Trump would be serving time in Federal prison instead of screaming "WITCH HUNT!" up and down the west wing. History will judge our generation on how we handle this fraud of a president. Future generations will wonder how we got here. What happened when the American aristocracy at the beginning of the 21st century dabbled in treason to enrich themselves?
The Light Is His Dimness
People often wonder is Trump is crazy like a fox or just plain crazy. I think his tweet where he admitted to his son colluding with Russia put that debate to rest once and for all. There is no plan, there is no grand design. He's winging it and doing a piss poor job of it. He's in trouble and he needs to end the investigation NOW so that more of his shady dealings don't see the light of day. As it turns out, that's not so easy to do because the American presidency is not a dictatorship and you figure that someone ought to know that before they actually become president. Mueller has him in a corner. Trump is desperate, but thank God he's inept.
He's no criminal mastermind. He's no mob boss. All that he is is a compromised Russian asset.
Anyone in his position with half the cunning of Don Corleone or even John Gotti would find a way to wiggle out of this. He would have played the con closer to his chest. Not reveal too much to other grifters like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. Trump didn't just leave a trail of breadcrumbs for Robert Mueller, he left a Wonderbread factory in his wake.
Right now all that Trump is capable of is whining on Twitter and wasting tax payer dollars on Syrian air strikes that do NOTHING. It's not good, but it could be a hell of a lot worse.
Malevolence plus talent is very dangerous. Trump has plenty of the former but none of the later. Many of us knew he was a rotten grifter but we had no idea he would be so bad at literally everything pertaining to leadership. What is he actually doing? He is hurting people, unfortunately. The child separation policy is astoundingly harmful to America. Traumatizing an entire generation of immigrant children will lead to EXACTLY the same problems closed borders advocates complain about now, just twenty years in the future.
A trade war with China? A meeting with North Korea which gave us nothing? Not enacting Russian sanctions? None of these will actually help America.
He's not Obama or even Bush (pick one). He's not even a Nixon. Nixon cheated, but he never cheated with Russian help.
The (*) President
Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times.
Only he didn't.
There's a strike through Lance Armstrong's name. The history books will always have a weird section about the greatest bicycle race in the world. That time that nobody won the Tour de France. Sure, there was a race and everybody agreed on the winner, but looking back... nah never mind. Didn't happen.
This is because Armstrong cheated and cheated HARD. Cheated like never before seen in the history of a very dirty sport.
Whatever happens, I see Trumps presidency going down the same way. History books will have an asterisk by Trumps name. They will annotate something to the effect of "well, that one was really weird and sort of not legitimate."
And that will be his lasting legacy to the world. People will loathe his name for generations to come. They will rip his name off of buildings that display it. They will call him a coward, a cheat and a fraud. Whatever fame he carries today will become notoriety tomorrow. It will affect his children's children. They will be shunned and blamed for the sins of the father. He will be the American Nero. Quite possibly our own Caligula.
Time will tell, but such a fate is a fitting bit of hell on earth for a king cockroach who never should have had lights turned on him.
Let Justice Prevail