The Two Faces of Russian Election Interference

Sometimes there is something so obvious staring you in the face and, thus, entering your brain, and yet you just don’t see it. I just had that moment of startled recognition.

I awoke to the realization that, even assuming that Donald Trump did not collude with Russia in influencing the 2016 election (jury is still out), Trump’s sole interest in the subject appears to be establishing his personal innocence. Despite being the President of the United States, sworn to uphold the law, protect the Constitution and so on, Trump has shown no interest in getting to the bottom of what our intelligence apparatus has declared to be conclusive evidence of Russian interference.

Not only has Trump repeatedly denied his own complicity, but he has been a harsh critic of the U.S. intelligence community, about which he knows little or nothing. Trump’s interest in the subject of voter fraud seems entirely limited to proving that there was domestic cheating that resulted in Hillary Clinton receiving more popular votes than he did. We must wonder what he will do now that his “voter fraud commission” is being disbanded for gross failure to accomplish anything.

We can expect at least that he will continue the Trump Deflection Strategy, by continuing to harp on the newest sideshow involving missing text messages at the FBI and the debunked theory that a “secret society” was operating inside the FBI with the mission to destroy Trump and his presidency. You can’t make this stuff up.

Well, actually you can. Some people do. They write fictional mystery/espionage novels some of which are made into movies and make a lot of money on the false but entertaining stories of dark conspiracies, super-human government/anti-government agents running amuck until the “hero” makes a last-minute discovery and saves the country and/or mankind from the evildoers. Trump’s political base appears to live in that same world. They have smoothly transitioned from “Benghazi!” and “what about her emails?” to “what about the texts?” Looking at some of their tweets, they are convinced there is a “secret society” inside the FBI out to get Trump.

They may indeed be half right. Those who believe in the efficacy of prayer likely hope fervently that the FBI/Special Counsel investigation produces enough evidence to support impeachment of the President. Trump’s core base, however, refuses to be concerned in the slightest about the monumental inconsistency between Trump’s repeated declarations of personal innocence and his utter indifference to the possibility that a hostile foreign power, historically the proponent of everything reviled by Trump’s adopted political party, interfered in the election of the most important political person in the country.

For Trump, of course, there is no inconsistency because, if anyone benefited from foreign meddling, it was he and that’s just fine with him.  Trump is the only one that matters to Trump. I would not be surprised if, before his term ends (by whatever means), he does not demand that all written references to his person shall have the initial letter capitalized. You know … as in He, Him …. don’t bet against it. Time will tell.

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