EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Trump tells @GStephanopoulos he wouldn't necessarily alert the FBI if approached by foreign figures with information on his 2020 opponent: "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it." https://t.co/yWRxMOaFqW pic.twitter.com/qwLw53s5yc— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2019
Let's just take a brief moment to wring the chills off the back of our necks a sec--of course Trump would say he'd take information from a foreign government and of course he wouldn't call the FBI, because he did do the first thing, and he didn't do the second thing! Sure, he even said today that his campaign rebuffed the offer of information from Russia according to the Mueller Report (because it would have to if it exonerated him of collusion, which he has also claimed, and which, also, it does not) but what's stopping him now? Would it be the FBI Direct he selected, who said you should go ahead and call the FBI about that sort of thing? Would it be the Attorney General he selected?
Trump doesn't think anybody is going to check him on that one, because as far as he is concerned, he's always right, about this or anything else. Taking information from, say, Norway--entirely okay for Trump to do, as far as he's concerned. Calling the FBI--why he never! (Except he has, of course. He lies about everything.)
He could no more admit that any multiple instances of Russian contact with his campaign somehow helped him over the finish line then he could admit even now that his internal polls aren't great. And if, in his mind, he would have won anyway--where's the problem? Who's it hurting? Like his infamous golf game, he's cheated for his scores fair and square!
This goes a little way to explain how he said, in front of everybody in the world at Helsinki, that Putin told him he never interfered and Trump believes him. If Putin "helped" Trump, that makes him a friend, and friends cover for friends. If the FBI is calling him a cheat though, then fuck the FBI, and who asked them, anyway?
The chilling thing about this though isn't that Trump is a no-good dirty cheat, although his record speaks for itself. It's that the reason why and how Russia interfered is still pretty much operational. Trump is borderline delusional, poorly informed, rejects expert opinion because he can't conceive of an intelligence higher than himself, and loudly undermines institutions he comes into conflict with--negative press, the courts, the FBI, the CIA, the US Congress, etc. Putin never wanted a buddy in the White House, he wanted...well, that. Also, look at the "how". The digital campaigns run by the Russian-originated Facebook ads as well as the Trump campaign (via Brad Parscale, who is running the Trump 2020 campaign as well) was voter suppression. Trump's internal polls might not be great--right now--but they don't even have to be. Not if Trump's strategy is just suppressing the Democratic vote by spreading misinformation and hate. All he has to do is keep his base on the hook. And Senate Majority Leader McConnell is happy to help him, and any "friends" Trump might have solicited today. (McConnell, like Trump, appears to be very, very, deeply corrupt.)
This is why I'm sick to the teeth of (not naming any names here) Democrats who want to talk about bipartisanship or how they want to have a nice, sunny campaign with great policy ideas and so on. There won't be any unless the Senate changes hands, too. Policy won't matter if all anyone wants to talk about is the dirt Trump slings. What Trump and his little helpers have done and are doing needs to get dragged into the light. The repercussions of the 2018 midterm elections can't be policy because McConnell is already blocking everything.
Trump already makes everything about himself. So what the hell--2020 is about Trump. He is the elephant-albatross hybrid in the room.
Now tomorrow, Sarah Sanders or whoever will be out on the front lawn of the White House saying he didn't say what you just heard and if he did he meant something else and they'll be lying, and all over Twitter, Trump's fan club will repeat that. But he said what he said, and he meant it and always he puts himself, not America, first.