January 1, 2016
- Trump is hinting he has something to share on Tuesday or Wednesday regarding Russian hacking.
- On New Year’s Eve, Trump tweeted “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!” Later he (or his staff) tweeted a more conciliatory “TO ALL AMERICANS- #HappyNewYear & many blessings to you all! Looking forward to a wonderful & prosperous 2017 as we work together to #MAGA”
- Trump’s press secretary went on Meet the Press and some are claiming he asked Americans to stop mocking Trump. There was a little more color to it than that, but it’s how it came across.
- Notably, he was referring to Trump’s successes in recent weeks. His prime example was how Trump got 5000 jobs, but it was framed on the defensive. He didn’t say “Trump succeeded,” he said “Trump succeeded, people are saying he’s taking credit for deals that had already happened, but that’s not true. This is his success alone.”
The thing is, this is a lie. The quote from Sprint said “This is part of the 50,000 jobs that Masa previously announced.” I think this is an important detail. His spokesperson’s talking points are:
- Trump did this (untrue)
- People who say it’s untrue are lying (untrue)
- A lot of people are mocking Trump (very true)
Which brings us to Russia. No one’s going to remember a few thousand jobs here or a few hundred thousand jobs there in the long scope of history. But Russia? The reality that the world order is already fully in decline? The fact that we are clearly at war with Russia, albeit a new kind of war? These are not small things.
And right in the middle of it, we have a president who is seeming to openly welcome the interference. I’ve been trying to piece together how this is all going to land and this the best I can see so far.
- McCain and <name I forgot to write down> are pushing for investigations January 15.
- 99 out of 100 Senators believe it was Russia.
- If it was Russia, that makes Trump look bad.
It seems as if Trump is getting boxed in from a variety of directions. Kelly-Anne Conway actually used that language today. It’ll be really interesting to see him announce his first Russian initiatives. No matter what he does, whether it’s sanctions, no sanctions, try to be friendly, or try to be unfriendly, will be seen through the prism of this.
If I were him, I’d take the evidence seriously and publicly say so. I’d leave all the sanctions in place. And I’d move on to other topics to try and put this behind me. But I’m not him. And I’m not president.