I’ll give Donald Trump credit for being a fairly decent “talker,” and not too terrible of a salesman, but you have to really want to believe the nonsense he’s trying to sell in order to not realize almost nothing he says is true. All he does is read a room, feed off their energy, then tells them exactly what they want to hear in a way that makes them believe everything he’s saying is the best and most wonderful thing they’ve ever heard. He’s like a walking 2 a.m. infomercial.
The worst part is, he’s not even a good liar. He’s a good salesperson — but he’s awful when he gets flustered and called out on a lie.
Look at the way in which he’s responded to James Comey’s testimony and the Russia investigation, in general. How he’s behaved, the things he’s said, and how he’s responded to these investigations is not how someone with nothing to hide conducts themselves. In fact, his behavior is nearly a textbook example of someone who has a lot to hide and is terrified of people finding out the truth.
Let me run down a few examples that, I feel, prove Trump’s lying and likely knows his campaign colluded with Russia.
1. His hostile and defensive behavior: This one’s easy. A person with nothing to hide doesn’t fear investigations that, if they’re being truthful about doing nothing wrong, would do nothing more than vindicate them by proving their innocence. Guilty people are the ones who act defensive, secretive, hostile toward those questioning them, and seek to do everything they can to undermine and/or obstruct the investigation against them.
2. He fired James Comey because he wouldn’t give into his demands on Michael Flynn and the investigation into his campaign: They can spin this how they want, but Trump flat-out admitted that the on-going investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia played a part (most likely the only part) in his decision to fire Comey. Based on Comey’s testimony (more on that in just a minute), it becomes abundantly clear that Trump got rid of the former head of the FBI because, after weeks of trying to bully and intimidate him into doing what he wanted, Comey wasn’t going to give into his demands.
3. Comey’s testimony, itself: The easy way to look at Comey’s testimony is that he instantly viewed Trump as someone who wasn’t honesty or trustworthy, he felt was trying to hold his job over his head to extract “loyalty,” and was blatantly trying to obstruct justice.
However, if you really look at what Comey said about he and Trump’s communication, what the “president” apparently never brought up to him is a pretty big deal: Russia’s involvement in last year’s election.
One way to tell if a person is lying, or trying to conceal something, is by looking at what they don’t ask. The reason being, if they already know the answer, there’s no reason to inquire about it. During his communication with Comey, he was mostly concerned with trying to get the former FBI director to make public statements he wasn’t comfortable making, and trying to bully him into ending the investigation into Flynn.
This wasn’t a person who had any sort of curiosity about whether or not a foreign government interfered in our election, because he already knows they did and to what extent.
4. Trump claimed Comey’s testimony completely vindicated him, while also saying he was a dishonest person who did nothing but lie: It’s not exactly “breaking news” for Trump to portray this version of reality where he feels he can cherry pick what is or isn’t real, even from sources he says aren’t credible. He can’t say that Comey’s testimony was pure fiction and almost nothing he said was true, but then selectively pick the parts that were favorable to you and claim those are credible.
Either James Comey is an honorable, credible person who, to the best of his abilities, told the truth, or he’s not — period.
5. Nearly every report indicates Trump’s weighing every possible option to undermine these investigations: It’s one thing for Trump to be unhappy with the fact that his campaign is under investigation, but it’s quite another when numerous stories continue to emerge that your administration has looked, or is still looking, into ways to undermine or impede those investigations.
Comey’s testimony aside, just before the former head of the FBI was set to testify, reports surfaced that the White House was possibly looking into blocking him from being able to do so. While they ultimately didn’t (probably because they realized what a PR disaster that would create), there are now rumors that Trump’s thinking about firing special counselor Robert Mueller. This follows earlier reports that Trump’s administration was looking into ways to discredit or sabotage Mueller from being able to credibly and effectively do his job.
Again, if there’s truth to these reports, this is not the behavior of someone who’s innocent.
6. Before Comey’s testimony, he tried to intimidate and bully him by threatening him on Twitter: Almost immediately after Trump fired Comey, he went on Twitter and issued a rather direct threat against the former FBI director. This seemed like a clear attempt by Trump to bully Comey into not speaking out publicly about anything the two might have discussed. He did this by suggesting he may have recorded his conversations (more on that in just a second, too).
If Trump didn’t fear anything Comey might say, then why did he feel the need to almost immediately try to intimidate him into not speaking publicly? It goes back to what I’ve said several times already — this is not how an innocent person behaves.
7. He threatened Comey by mentioning tapes, yet refuses to answer repeated attempts by members of Congress and the media asking whether or not they actually exist: This is kind of a continuation of #7. Publicly threatening Comey was bad enough. However, doing so by suggesting you may have recorded your conversations with him when you know you didn’t — then refusing to directly answer if those recordings are real — is absurd.
It really comes down to two things:
- The tapes are real, but Trump doesn’t want people to know what’s on them.
- The tapes aren’t real, meaning Trump made the whole thing up in a blatant attempt to try to intimidate Comey.
Something tells me, Trump’s continued avoidance to even answer the simple question of, “Do the tapes exist?” proves that they don’t, and he’s going to do just about everything he can to avoid publicly admitting that.
That still goes back to the point that, if Trump wasn’t worried about what Comey would say, then why did he make this threat based on fictitious tapes?
8. He’s used a tactic to declare his “innocence” that guilty people often use: Donald Trump’s go-to line in all of this seems to be “I’m not personally under investigation.” When I hear him constantly going to that, I can’t help but think of a situation where someone has their “alibi” already set up before a crime took place. A person who knew something illegal was going on, but took a hands-off approach to things, assuming that their direct lack of involvement means they didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s entirely possible that Trump didn’t directly make any contact with Russian officials — but that doesn’t mean he didn’t know about it and/or encourage it in some way.
That’s what I think is going on. My personal feeling is, he kept his distance, but made sure he was being fed information, thinking the whole time that as long as he didn’t directly do anything, he could play stupid, claim plausible deniability, and he’d be okay.
While that might fly as a private citizen, if that’s going to be his defense, that’s not going to fly as “president.”
There are plenty more, but I’ll go ahead and wrap this up.