The Wiretapping Lie That Won’t Die: Trump’s Political Umbilical Cord
The “Obama tapped my wires” tweet is not Donald Trump’s most offensive or least intelligent lie. His off color comment about Meghan Kelly may hold that unenviable distinction. It is, however, the lie that will not die (and that’s not an accident). This particular untruth, consistently disseminated, reinterpreted, repeated and extrapolated is now the administration’s lifeline. It’s a political umbilical cord.
“Obama tapped my wires” nurtures a surveillance narrative that, quite literally, keeps a 35–40% approval rating heart’s pumping. Alleged Russian collusion is the coronary obstruction choking that failing organ. Incompetence and slithering dishonesty are contributing factors. In less then the first 100 days, the Administration is an ashen pile of public policy failures and behind the curtain, controversial, hard-right, dark victories.
An impulsive, nervous President’s tweet is now a complex, political opposition story. Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s verbal tweet twisting (these past two months), Devin Nunes bumbling to and fro on the White House grounds (last week) and this week’s non-revelation about Susan Rice (with the President’s subsequent accusation of a crime via a New York Times interview), morphed a fictional political novella into a crafted-by-dumb-luck, slightly complicated alternative to the Steele Dossier (more on that in a minute).
Ironically, a few actors in the saga effectively parroted some of the the methods the Russians purportedly used to manipulate/manage Donald Trump and his associates, specifically, implicit and explicit collusion.
Devin Nunes was certainly “in cahoots” with the Trump team while reviewing confidential documentation on the Administration’s computers. Either instructed or instructing, he was fully aware of his explicit collusion.
Senator Lindsey Graham, an outspoken critic of the President (when it comes to Russia) couldn’t help but inadvertently lend credibility to the “Trump was surveilled” narrative. The moment he heard those two words, that three-syllable proper noun, so antithetical to the delicate sensitivities of every Republican in public office, he was hooked. The name Susan Rice was all he needed to hear to proclaim, “I’m not going to prejudge here, but I think every American should know whether or not the national security adviser to President Obama was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes.” A smart, seasoned bureaucrat, you’d think he wouldn’t be ideologically tricked into unwittingly becoming the most significant “useful idiot,” the implicit colluder, supporting the wiretap storyline he still disavows.
The opposing narrative, the 180 degree political, literary shift away from “Trump’s lie in the sand” is the Steele Dossier.
The BBC’s Paul Wood recently reported the Steel Dossier, is “now the roadmap for the (FBI’s) investigation.” The document details Trump’s alleged ties to Russia (and possible collusion). The scathing assessment crafted by former British Spy Christopher Steele describes an eight year old, incredibly complex spiderweb of Trump campaign interactions with Russia. Trump and/or his associates knowingly, or unknowingly (or both) coordinated efforts with the Kremlin. Segments of the document have been confirmed while other parts remain uncorroborated. Unraveling this real life, multi-layered, complicated mystery could take years.
Therein lies the problem. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. The laceration the Kremlin may have inflicted on our electoral body is exacerbated by our President’s obstructive untruth telling. American’s have to decide who to believe. The nation’s limited trust in anyone is going bleed out of this festering gash.
Trump may be signaling a pivot in a more moderate direction, further muddying the swampy waters. Reports suggest Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus could be be on the Executive chopping block. That could bode well for his approval ratings as would an inevitably war bump (assuming no pending fallout from the recent Tomahawk missile strikes in Syria).
The longer the Russia investigations take and the more Trump coordinates blatant lies with random acts of normality, the more likely he is to succeed at long term collusion, distraction and “deconstruction of the Administrative State” (whatever that really means).
“Increasingly, the American people are being asked to choose between two unpalatable versions of events: abuse of power by one president or treason that put another in the White House. It cannot be both.”
Which narrative do you want to believe America?
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