It may be 157 days (and counting) since Donald Trump stepped in front of the cameras for a press conference, but he did sit down with Reuters for a little chat about just how ignorant he really is.
Did Trump know his son lined up a meeting for the express purpose of getting Russian government dirt on Hillary Clinton?
"No. That I didn’t know. Until a couple of days ago, when I heard about this. No I didn’t know about that."
Did he want to know?
"Look - that campaign ... I actually always thought I’d win, to be honest with you, because I’ve been winning my whole life, to be honest with you, but we started a campaign as a non-politician, and many people were skeptical. Some weren’t, some people who know me weren’t ... but many were skeptical. And it was a wild time. And we would meet with many people."
That would be … not an answer. But Trump did wander just a little closer …
“Many people, and many political pros, said everybody would do that. If you got a call and said, 'Listen I have information on Hillary and the DNC,' or whatever it was they said, most people are going to take that meeting, I think."
So Trump’s real answer is: If I had gotten that email, I would have taken the meeting. Which, considering that Republicans have now redefined collusion as something more than volunteering to cooperate with someone offering high level information from an adversarial government for mutual benefit, is totally okay.
So, while Trump may claim to not know about the meeting, he had no trouble with the meeting. He then repeated a point that his son made in his Hannity interview.
“And you have to understand, when that took place, this was before Russia fever. There was no Russia fever back then, that was at the beginning of the campaign, more or less. There was no Russia fever."
The meeting about colluding with Russia happened … before people were talking about the Trump campaign colluding with Russia. Which is like saying that before the starter pistol went off, no one was running.
And the funniest thing about this stupid analogy? It’s not true.
Donald Trump is a brave pro-Putin political maverick who would end U.S. foreign wars and perhaps lift sanctions on Moscow. Hillary Clinton, however, is a warmonger beholden to the military-industrial complex.
Russian state TV, which hews closely to the Kremlin's world view, leaves little doubt about who Moscow supports in November's U.S. presidential election: "The Donald."
That’s a piece from that obscure organization, Reuters—the one conducting the Donald Trump interview—from three months before Donald Trump Jr. sat down to dine on Kremlin-generated Hillary hate. Months before Russia came in (from the not so cold summer) to open up the vaults of Hillary disinformation, they had already dispatched thousands of agents to begin planting stories in social media. That, along with the mutual love-fest between Trump and Putin, had not escaped notice.
No one was yet using the term “collude,” because Trump Jr was just about to nail down the dictionary definition of that term. But the connection between Trump, Russia—and Trump’s possibly still Moscow-funded campaign chair, Paul Manafort—was certainly getting attention.
But don’t worry. Donald Trump delivers a definitive end to the idea that Russia did anything, anything at all, to affect the US election.
"First question - first 20, 25 minutes - I said, ‘Did you do it?’ He said, ‘No, I did not, absolutely not.’ I then asked him a second time, in a totally different way. He said, ‘Absolutely not.’"
Trump asked Putin two different ways, and he still said no. No one is that crafty they could lie twice.
But wait. Believe it or not, the interview is about to become even more unreal, as Donald Trump heads down an express lane to paradox.
“Somebody did say if he did do it, you wouldn’t have found out about it. Which is a very interesting point.”
If Putin had done something, he’s so clever we wouldn’t have found out. But … we did find out. Which means … he couldn’t have done it. But, wait. If he didn’t do it then, how did we …
"Look: Something happened and we have to find out what it is, because we can’t allow a thing like that to happen to our election process. So something happened, and we have to find out what it is."
Something happened. Something that we can’t permit. Only … we don’t know what that something is. In fact, there’s only one thing we do know.
“Now, everybody agrees that there was no impact on the votes in this election, which is very important to say, but we have to make sure that nothing could ever happen to our election process."
To sum up: Something happened. It wasn’t Putin, because if it was Putin we would never have found out and we found out so it wasn’t. Plus, Trump double-dog checked to be sure. And this something, which didn’t affect a single vote, is something we can’t allow to happen.
So … everyone turn over your voting rolls to be vetted by Trump and his, let’s say, friends. Which isn’t Putin. Though if it was, you would never know.