Summarizing Trump’s Defense for Links to Multiple Potential Crimes: I’m Incompetent

For a man who likes to have his name on damn near everything in which he’s involved, and doesn’t hesitate to try to take credit for any positive news he can spin to make himself look good, even when he has nothing to do with it, it’s astonishing how “hands-off” Donald Trump claims to be as it relates to a host of issues that could potentially link him to various crimes.

When his former national security advisor Michael Flynn called Russia and discussed sanctions that Barack Obama had just issued against the Russian government for their cyber attack against the 2016 election — then lied about what he discussed — Trump claimed ignorance. Flynn’s actions were his own and were in no way the result of any orders Trump had given him.

After Trump’s second campaign manager Paul Manafort abruptly left the campaign following reports of his ties to pro-Russia groups in Ukraine, naturally this “president” claimed he knew nothing about any of that and began to downplay his former campaign manager’s role — in his campaign. 

To me that one is particularly funny because it thoroughly supports the point I’m getting at. In one instance, Trump’s claiming that he ran his own campaign. That he’s such a “hands-on” person, his campaign manager had very little to do with what was going on during his time as part of “team Trump.”

Yet he’s still effectively claiming ignorance as it relates to Manafort’s ties to pro-Russia groups.

He’s “super hands on” — until being hands-on no longer benefits him. Then he’s apparently surrounded by people who act completely independent of him without his knowledge of anything they’re doing.

Such as the infamous meeting his eldest son, campaign manager, and son-in-law had with Russians promising the campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton from Russia’s government that was held in Trump Tower.

Nope, Trump never knew about that, either. He found out about that meeting at the same time all of us did. His son, son-in-law, and campaign manger set all of this up — in his building — and kept it secret for over a year, never once mentioning anything about it to him.

Uh huh. 

Then there’s the payment his lawyer Michael Cohen made to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair he had with her on his current wife.

Once again, Trump claims he knew nothing about the payment or the deal she signed to not speak publicly about their affair. This was all Cohen doing this on his own without any sort of direction or approval from Trump. His lawyer reached out to Daniels, made the payment arrangements, and made the payment himself.


Then of course when Rudy Giuliani revealed to Sean Hannity that Trump repaid Cohen, Trump didn’t know anything about that, either. This was all orchestrated in secret, kept completely hidden from Trump, to “spare his family” the “embarrassment” of dealing with a “false accusation.”

Now we have reports that Cohen was accepting money from outsiders, including some with ties to Russia, seeking to gain access to Trump.

And, you guessed it, Trump’s team is claiming he had no knowledge about any of it. His lawyer “went rogue” and decided to set up this pay-for-play scheme where he would pocket all of this money to help people gain access to his boss while Trump was completely oblivious any of this was going on.

Essentially, Trump’s defense for his potential ties to criminal or unethical activity is that he’s incompetent. He’s the leader of his family, company, and campaign — but apparently never knows what’s going on or what the people around him are doing, especially if it may involve unethical or illegal activity.

Unless, of course, they did something positive. Then he wants all the credit.

Anyone who believes all of this was going on —

  • Former national security advisor calling Russians to discuss sanctions.
  • Second campaign manager had multiple ties to pro-Russian groups.
  • Oldest son, son-in-law, and campaign manager meeting with Russians promising them dirt on Hillary Clinton in his own building.
  • His lawyer setup a non-disclosure agreement and $130,000 payment prior to the 2016 election with a former adult film star concerning an affair Trump had with her on his current wife, and was then repaid the $130,000 from Trump.
  • That same lawyer was accepting millions of dollars in payments from people to gain access to Trump.

— without Trump’s knowledge, orders, or direction is an absolute fool.

But this is where we’re at with this “president.”

A man who claims to be more “hands-on” than any person who’s held that office before him, an egomaniac who surrounds himself with “yes-men” who tell him whatever he wants to hear, is so incompetent that everyone from his lawyer to his oldest son were doing all of these potentially criminal activities and he didn’t know anything about any of it.

If you honestly believe that, I’ve got some magic beans I’d like to sell you.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.