Conservatives have spent much of the last day attacking the media for daring to report the Washington Post’s breaking news that Donald J. Trump revealed sensitive information to the Russian government via his meeting with Russian diplomats Lavrov and Kislyak. At the time of that meeting, given #Putin’s directive that #Trump was not to include the American media, most of us probably worried that the worst that would happen is that the true purpose of the sensitive equipment the Russian media brought into the oval office would be revealed – to our detriment. That now seems like such a small, innocent, useless, concern. Putin didn’t need pictures. He only needed the man whose election he aided.
While conservatives shook their fists in fury at the “liberal Trump-hating media” for attacking him, most of us realized the implications of the Washington Post’s work. We quickly realized that Trump had once again put the safety of the U.S., and U.S. assets, at risk. On cue, he sent surrogates to lie and cover his trail, this time in the guise of the respected National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMasters. Cognizant listeners knew that this was yet another in a long string of lies, despite our respect for McMasters. We are hard pressed to believe anything that comes from the #Trump White House. We are also hard pressed to believe that his surrogates are unwitting liars, given the pattern.
Trump falters, his surrogates lie, the truth comes out (often from Trump himself, as he undercuts his original message). The man who can’t admit fault will never keep a lie quiet because it is a tacit agreement that he has made a significant error, one from which he has to hide. He will never do that and this time is no different. While McMasters read a non-denial denial meant to protect the Trump from his own recklessness, Trump followed up McMaster’s comments with the following tweets:
You might want to note that Kislyak wasn’t listed as part of the “openly scheduled meeting” nor was his name included in the official summary of the meeting, though the Russian media images show him there.
Then came the standard attempt to deflect blame and point the media, and an all too compliant Republican congress and Republican voters, in a different direction:
The LEAK is not the problem. The recklessness of a man who ran for office, seemingly, with the intent on destroying President Obama’s legacy even if it hurt the nation, IS the problem. Trump was never ready for this job. He has only been able to talk about the legacy he wants to destroy but almost no movement in the direction of the one he wants to build. He has been able to keep the media (with the exception of the Washington Post) pointed in the wrong direction for nearly two years as he continues to make increasingly dangerous errors.
As I type this, I am listening to a preview of Anderson Cooper’s interview with Sally Yates. He is asking her about Trump’s allegations that she leaked sensitive information to the press. The failure of the mainstream press to do its job continues – most especially by ignoring what are obvious lies from this administration. Investigate the lies? SURE. Stop airing them as if they have credibility worthy of open denial.
To the media that continues to indulge this president, to the Republican congress and voters, to the devoted Trump supporters who continue to hang on to your belief that things will get better if Trump is simply given more time: YOU were warned. You were warned that Trump has NO IDEA what his job is and what it means. He told you lies you wanted to hear and you swallowed them, gladly. His lies nourished fears and petty grievances but they also did something else. Those lies told us exactly who this man is. The focus on grievances outweighed the focus on the gravitas he lacked, for far too many voters. Everything he has done wrong since in office was telegraphed through the primary and the general election. The press, which has lost its curiosity about the 22 million missing Bush emails, focused on 33K Clinton emails and an unhacked server. Voters and Republican politicians who called Trump’s impulsivity and unpredictability a sign that he would keep our enemies guessing now realize, I hope, that those traits are life-threatening and highly predictable for our enemies. Putin knew EXACTLY what was doing to send to flattering handlers to meet with Trump.
To the media that failed to do its job during the primaries and general election and to Trump voters, that he put YOUR family at risk is on you. That you helped him put MY family at risk is on me. I am going to help register every person I can. I am going to donate to every vulnerable R seat I can. I am going to remind everyone I know and people I DON’T KNOW what a disaster the Republican party is.
Enough with party before patriotism. ENOUGH with nursing petty grievances instead of protecting our Democracy. If the media and Republican voters can’t get it together for the sake of this nation, don’t worry, the Democratic party will protect you from yourselves and this nation against her enemies. We always have.