Donald Trump’s tweet that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower is looking more and more like a case of the boy who cried wolf. In other words, his credibility is looking shakier than an alcoholic in detox.
Perhaps he said it to distract attention from FBI probes about Russian involvement in the election. Or maybe he was angry with Obama for one reason or another. Who knows with him. In any case the issue isn’t being left behind like so many of his other outrageous statements that helped propel him to – egads – the presidency. The story has legs and he and his team would like to undercut them.
However, while his spin-miesters, like spokesman Sean (Bagdad Bob) Spicer and Kellyanne (disinfomainiac) Conway, author of the “alternative facts” line of argument, have continually tried to make the twaddle their master wrote sound sensible, most observers who aren’t married to conspiracy theories laugh at these evasions.
In short, this fabrication may and hopefully will prove to be a “bridge too far” for Trump. That it will produce a “credibility gap” to a degree not quite seen since President Johnson’s actions fathered the notion during the Vietnam War.
As is usually part of their evasive tactics, Trump and his Trumpeters deny the literal meaning of his own blather, acting as if the president is an inscrutable poet. They all emphasize that Trump put “wiretapping” in quotes, meaning as everyone should know, not necessarily literal wire tapping but a broad term indicating any kind of surveillance, direct or indirect. He was speaking figuratively as you many English majors out there should grasp. Or for you Buddhists, think of Trump as a master of the Zen koen. Think about it.
And when it comes to surveillance, well that can amount to anything, even a microwave capable of taking your picture, as Kellyanne suggested in one interview. These days there are all sorts of instruments that can help surveil, she more or less said.
Her source? “I read it somewhere.” Working in the White House, couldn’t she find a better source than “somewhere”? Say, the huge intelligence agencies we have?
“I read it somewhere” is the standard of proof for any White House inquiry these days, which is why I feel we have moved from the surreal to the absurd. Trump often backs his wild charges by saying he read or saw something, as if anything out there that can be read or seen can be viewed as a reliable source.
How about something written in a public bathroom stall? Does that count? Yes, I would say as long as it supports something our president either already believes or wants us to believe or both. I feel weak kneed imagining we elected a virtual 5th grader on speed to be president, who has brought along a team of playmates to continue the party.
What may be most disturbing is I believe when President Johnson lied, he knew he was not telling the truth. I’m not sure that this president is always aware of the difference.