At 3:00 a.m., I published a post titled On Trump’s Great Deflection. By the time I awakened this morning at 7:30, the post was already outdated and called for a follow-up. This is that follow-up.
At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, Donald Trump tweeted his most ridiculous set of tweets yet, one that could have no other purpose than to distract us from the news we need to be seeing.
“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!
I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!
How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
Trump cited no evidence whatsoever, so one must assume this simply came to him in a random thought on waking this morning. Some speculate that his twit-attack was based on faux news out of right-wing media such as Breitbart, where a story was reported that President Obama was plotting a ‘silent coup’ against Trump & Co.
In response, Obama spokesman, Kevin Lewis, issued a statement:
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Gwenda Blair, one of Trump’s biographers, dubbed this, along with his attacks on Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi the day before, “the distraction playbook”. This ranks right up there with Trump’s previous claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S. … another lie for which Trump had no basis, and yet millions chose to believe him … perhaps because they wanted to? Trump has also claimed that Obama was to blame for the leaks coming from within his own administration. What happened to that line from his State of the Union address to Congress last Tuesday, where he said, “the time for trivial fights is over”?
Trump’s increasingly ridiculous tweets are seen by most as deflection and distraction from the Russian connections of a number of his team, and I would agree. However, I also see them as a sign of somebody who is not thinking clearly, perhaps is not capable of coherent thought. It should be obvious that nothing is going to come of his ‘demands’ for investigations into Schumer and Pelosi, nor will there be any substance behind his claim of wiretapping by President Obama. What this does, then, is further erode the slight amount of confidence in his capability that the public in general may have had. His followers may be eating this up at the moment, but like cotton candy, there is no substance and these claims will simply melt into oblivion. Then how do his followers justify their support of an apparent madman? To me, this is a clear-cut case of a desperate man whose ship is sinking and he is looking for a roll of duct tape.
However, the media is in a feeding frenzy over these tweets, at a time when they need to remain focused on the bigger picture. I am far more concerned with discovering who in Trump’s administration had (or has) ties to the Russian government, what those ties are, what was discussed between members of Trump’s team and the Russians prior to his inauguration, prior to the election. If my suspicions are correct, I think what we have seen so far is merely the tip of the iceberg, an iceberg that may well lead straight to Donald Trump’s own door. His tweets, if completely ignored by the press and unreported, will likely stop, as they will not have the desired effect. Right now, we are handing him exactly what he hoped for … a diversion. A deflection. A distraction. Let us not lose sight of the bigger picture here.