Deflect: cause (something) to change direction by interposing something; turn aside from a straight course.
Deflect: cause (someone) to deviate from an intended purpose.
When in trouble … deflect. Deflect the attention away from your own errors and point the finger at somebody else. This is what a 5-year-old child does when caught with his hand in the cookie jar … he says his sister took some first, or that the dog peed in the living room, or any of a string of finger-pointing methods that will deflect the parents’ attention away from his hand in the cookie jar. It is the nature of a 5-year-old, and nothing to lose much sleep over. However, when adults do it, and many do, it is cause for greater concern, as they should have matured beyond that mentality, should accept responsibility for their actions. And when the leader of a nation does it … then it is cause for losing sleep!
Over the course of the past two weeks, at least three of Trump’s cabinet picks or closest aides have been proven to have had contact with representatives of the Russian government before Trump took the oath of office. In at least one case, Mike Flynn, the conversation that took place between himself and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, was an exchange of confidential information. In all three cases, the contact was improper, at best, and potentially treasonous to the then Obama administration, at worst. Most of us are questioning who else in the Trump regime may have had inappropriate contact with Russian officials, and in what context. So, rather than call for a full-scale investigation, as would be appropriate at this juncture, what does Donald Trump do? Why, he points the finger at others, of course.
First, he points the finger at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“We should start an immediate investigation into @SenSchumer and his ties to Russia and Putin,” Trump tweeted. “A total hypocrite!”
The basis for his accusation? A 2003 Associated Press image of Schumer having coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts with Russian President Vladimir Putin in New York. According to the caption, Putin was visiting the first New York gas station of Lukoil, a Russian company. Schumer fired back at Trump via Twitter, saying, “Happily talk re: my contact w Mr. Putin & his associates, took place in ’03 in full view of press & public under oath. Would you &your team?” In 2003, at the time of the photo, Schumer was a first-term U.S. Senator from New York, so contact with a foreign leader … any foreign leader … visiting the U.S. and specifically New York City, is to be considered within the scope of his job.
On Wednesday, after it was discovered that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had lied under oath about his own contacts with Ambassador Kislyak, Senator Schumer called for Sessions to resign … presumably what made Trump go on a search of something with which to strike back at Schumer, while at the same time deflecting the attention of both the media and the public from Sessions’ crime. And what he found … gasp … was a 14-year-old file photo. Sad!
But he didn’t stop there! Next, he went after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for much the same thing …
Take #1: “I hear by demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,”
Take #2: “I hearby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,”
Take #3: “I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it,”
Only took him three tries and 16 minutes to spell it right.
Nancy Pelosi was, indeed, photographed in 2010 at a formal dinner attended by Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian Federation president Dmitry Medvedev, Texas Republican Representative Mac Thornberry, former House GOP leader Eric Cantor, and others including Kislyak. The photo was a press photo of a formal dinner, with no attempt made to hide anything. It was a far cry from Sessions’ private meeting with Kislyak, and since Pelosi was at that time a senator, again, was well within the scope of her position. During a recent interview with Politico, Pelosi was asked if she had ever met with Amassador Kislyak, to which she replied no, she had never met with him. The implication is that she had never had a meeting with him. Trump claims she lied and should be investigated, but there are major differences between this and Jeff Sessions’ situations. First, attending the same formal dinner, photographed by press, is not a private meeting. He sat across the table and down a few seats, so it is likely the two never spoke a word to each other and she may have not even remembered that he attended, as there were at least ten other people present … and it was 7 years ago! Second, Ms. Pelosi was under no oath, she was being interviewed by the press. Pelosi also responded to Trump on Friday: “.@realDonaldTrump doesn’t know difference between official mtg photographed by press & closed secret mtg his AG lied about under oath.”
There is no smoking gun in either Pelosi’s or Schumer’s cases … they are both non-issues. Surely Trump is aware of that and this is a pathetic attempt to pull attention away from his own team members Flynn, Sessions, and son-in-law Kushner, who may have had inappropriate dealings with Russian officials before Trump even took office.
As of this writing, there is no word on whether the Department of Justice will actually take Trump’s ‘demands’ seriously, but I think it is doubtful. And, I think this is more likely just Trump lashing out in response to both Pelosi and Schumer having called for Sessions to step down in light of his lies under oath, rather than an actual expectation that an investigation into either Pelosi or Schumer would come to pass.
The lack of maturity, the 5-year-old mentality, is astounding in one in Trump’s position. Those who voted for Trump last November presumably believed they were voting for a ‘man’ who could lead the nation, but instead what they got … what we all got … is a petulant little boy inside the body of an adult. I hope that members of Congress look at this attempt to deflect blame from his team and see it for what it is … or what it is not … and it is definitely not the behaviour of a rational adult.