To give you just a taste of the chaos that is enveloping the White House today, in the wake of Trump’s new unsourced theory that the prior United States president was personally spying on him: Trump’s team is running freelance on this one. Not only can they not decide on how to respond to Trump’s claim, they can’t even decide whether or not they’ll be responding to it at all.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are paddling the same waters. While Sen. Marco Rubio allowed on Meet the Press that there was “no evidence” to support Trump’s latest Twitter rant, Sen. Tom Cotton puffed that well, merely because Donald Trump appears to have pulled the theory not even from a Breitbart conspiracy article but entirely out of his own behind “doesn’t mean that none of these things have happened, just means I haven’t seen them yet.”
This is indeed the problem at hand. What is the proper Republican response to a sitting president making up conspiracy theories against him and announcing them to his followers out of nowhere? If Donald Trump next tweets that Barack Obama put a snake in his golf bag, despite no evidence of said snake, will Tom Cotton again go on television and defend it as a thing that could have theoretically happened, even if there’s no actual evidence, because reasons?
That’s where we are. Florida Man, having left his advisers behind for another weekend of golf and ketchup steaks, is inventing conspiracies against him and the entire collected apparatuses of both the White House and the Republican Party are attempting, on the fly, to justify why this isn’t evidence of a man untethered to reality and incapable of governance.
It’s been what, five weeks?