4chan Twitterbot and apoplectic yam salad Donald Trump keeps insisting that his campaign absolutely did not collude with Russia to secure an advantage over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
If that’s true, he’s admitting to a level of stupidity and political ineptitude not seen since the last time a Republican congressman discussed rape.
If he’s not guilty, then he’s stupid or crazy. Granted, all three can be true — and probably are — but beyond a shadow of a doubt, at least one of those scenarios is playing out right before our astonished eyes.
The biggest reason for thinking Trump is guilty is that almost every action he takes — big or small — fairly screams guilt.
Asking for James Comey’s loyalty, imploring him to back off Michael Flynn, firing Comey, admitting he fired Comey because of the “Russia thing,” haranguing Jeff Sessions (and obviously trying to get him to quit so Trump can appoint a stooge), trying to keep Sally Yates from testifying, screeching about Hillary Clinton’s alleged guilt, refusing to criticize Vladimir Putin (like, ever), seeking out sub rosa sidebar conversations with Putin, refusing to release his tax returns, hinting that he’ll try to smear Robert Mueller or shut down his investigation — these are not the actions of an innocent man.
Now Trump has topped himself again — twice! — in the past 24 hours.
First The Washington Post reported that Trump himself was behind Don Jr.’s misleading first statement about the latter’s meeting with a Russian lawyer who was offering dirt on Hillary Clinton — proving that the president sought to mislead the country about his campaign’s involvement with the Russians.
Of course, Trump lies multiple times each day, but this was an extra special lie, connected as it was to the Russian collusion story.
But that bombshell report was a dud compared to this morning’s news.
According to a newly filed lawsuit, our fake news-fighting president helped concoct a fake story about Seth Rich, a former Democratic Party staffer whose murder is still unsolved. The plaintiff, a longtime commentator for Fox News named Rod Wheeler, said a Fox reporter knowingly misquoted him in the story in order to make it look like Rich was killed for leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks.
According to NPR:
"The lawsuit focuses particular attention on the role of the Trump supporter, Ed Butowsky, in weaving the story. He is a wealthy Dallas investor and unpaid Fox commentator on financial matters who has emerged as a reliable Republican surrogate in recent years. Butowsky offered to pay for Wheeler to investigate the death of the DNC aide, Seth Rich, on behalf of his grieving parents in Omaha, Neb.
"On April 20, a month before the story ran, Butowsky and Wheeler — the investor and the investigator — met at the White House with then-press secretary Sean Spicer to brief him on what they were uncovering.
"The first page of the lawsuit quotes a voicemail and text from Butowsky boasting that Trump himself had reviewed drafts of the Fox News story just before it went to air and was published."
As for the quotes that Wheeler alleges were faked, he claims Butowsky said they were attributed to Wheeler because “that is the way the President wanted the article.”
So if you’re Donald Trump and you really did collude with Putin and the Russians, all this makes sense. Throw enough sand in the eyes of investigators and you might live to fight another day. Sleazy, but kinda smart in its own loutish, ape-brained sort of way.
But if you’re not guilty and you’re still pulling this shit? If you can’t shut up about the case for 15 minutes or resist your ham-fisted, dishonest, and ferociously corrupt attempts at impeding investigators and steering the conversation in your favor?
Then you’re crazy.
Or you have survivor’s guilt because you know Hillary was supposed to be president.
Or you have some sort of weird compulsion to answer every single accusation that’s ever been directed at you — even though you’re president and have actual, you know, work to do.
Or — and this is the simplest explanation of all — you’re even dumber than we all thought.