Donald Trump is not a very intelligent person. While he does have a degree from an Ivy League school (talk about transcripts I’d love to see), all you have to do is sit back and objectively listen to the man speak to realize he’s an idiot. To make matters worse, he’s a mentally unhinged idiot with a massive ego and unprecedented insecurities. Add the fact that he was born into a wealthy family where he was essentially handed his success, and it’s a really bad mixture that’s created someone who thinks he’s some sort of superior intellect who can do no wrong — while also being an immature, neurotic madman who legitimately doesn’t seem to have the cognitive abilities to grasp reality.
Unfortunately for Trump, this type of mindset isn’t conducive for politics despite his “success of winning” the electoral college victory last November. Winning an election and being able to competently and effectively govern are two entirely different things.
Another downside for Trump is that this combination of delusions about his own intelligence and an out-of-control ego often drives him to say really stupid things that either contradict something he’s previously said or even confirm allegations that have been levied against him.
For instance, his continued insistence that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Kremlin-backed lawyer who had promised him damaging information on the Clintons gathered by the Russian government as part of their desire to see his father elected was a meeting “anyone would have taken.” This was a sentiment he echoed in a tweet he sent out Monday morning:
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2017
It’s true, politics is an incredibly ugly business where a lot of nasty behind-the-scenes stuff takes place. If you want to run for political office, be fully prepared to have every aspect of your life dug into, scrutinized, attacked, possibly twisted into something that’s not even true, and talked about publicly.
That being said, there are still a lot of rules and regulations that govern campaigns and our elections — especially as it relates to foreign entities trying to influence our democracy.
So this idea that “anyone” would have taken that meeting is absurd.
However, what Trump doesn’t seem to realize, and what I wish the media would discuss more, is that his continued insistence that this was “routine opposition research” is essentially bordering on proof that his campaign colluded with the Russian government.
After all, if Trump doesn’t consider what his son did on June 9th of last year “collusion,” then what does he think that word actually means? Furthermore, if Trump considers this “routine opposition research,” then it makes sense why he wouldn’t think his campaign colluded with a foreign government. In his mind, that collusion was nothing more than “opposition research and meetings that anyone would have taken.”
Except it’s not — and that’s Trump’s problem.
It’s like I asked last week when this story first broke: If you replace “Kremlin-backed lawyer” with “Russian hacker,” what’s really the difference?
Trump and his defenders have also said that the lawyer was Russian, but she wasn’t a direct member of Russia’s government. Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s say that’s true. Again, couldn’t the same thing be said about Russian hackers who, via the cliché “plausible deniability” excuse, weren’t officially tied to the Kremlin?
The problem for them is that in these email exchanges it was made perfectly clear to Trump Jr. that this information was part of Russia’s efforts to help his father’s campaign. So it doesn’t really matter if the lawyer was officially tied to the Kremlin, they were acting on behalf of Russia’s government by promising information the Kremlin had supposedly obtained on the Clintons.
Since this is so indefensible, Donald Trump’s “plan” has been to sell his son’s meeting last June as nothing more than “routine opposition research,” claiming that the media making a huge deal out of it is just more “proof” that they’re out to get him. As he often does, his go-to strategy here is to play the victim, while vilifying anyone reporting the facts about the unethical, if not criminal, behavior of him and his family.
Though in doing so, Trump is effectively admitting that it’s almost certain his campaign colluded with Russia during last year’s election. If he truly thinks it’s “routine opposition research” to setup meetings with individuals offering damaging information against a political opponent provided to them by a foreign adversary who specifically stated they hoped it would impact the outcome of our election — which is essentially what collusion means — then Trump’s stating that he feels colluding with Russia was nothing more than something “anyone would have done.”