As the evidence of Donald Trump’s corruption, self-dealing, and solicitation of foreign interference in American elections mounts overwhelmingly through the testimony in congressional impeachment hearings, Republicans are cycling through their defense strategies to protect the president faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters.
Trump’s GOP defenders have moved from “he didn’t do it” to “he did it, but it wasn’t wrong” to “it was wrong, but it’s not an impeachable offense” as if their chameleon-like shifts won’t be noticed by a public they assume must be gullible enough to swallow their kaleidoscopic changes since, after all, they elected such an obvious conman to begin with.
Such incremental moves in Republican legislators’ attitudes towards the president’s actions — from total exoneration to guilty with an explanation — have enraged Donald Trump who sees any admission of wrongdoing as the beginning of a slippery slope that leads right to the White House exit door.
Trump took to Twitter this afternoon continuing to insist that he’s an innocent man in a manner that only an extremely guilty culprit could.
His tweet warned his GOP enablers that even the slightest admission of guilt — any hint that the words of the multiple witnesses to the president’s extortionate scheme towards Ukraine contain more credibility than his all-caps characterization of his actions as “PERFECT” — is a “fools [sic] trap.”
The call to the Ukrainian President was PERFECT. Read the Transcript! There was NOTHING said that was in any way wrong. Republicans, don’t be led into the fools trap of saying it was not perfect, but is not impeachable. No, it is much stronger than that. NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2019
Since anyone who does read the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky can see that a clear quid pro quo is being proffered, one can only assume that Trump’s exhortation to “Read the transcript!” is akin to the literacy-challenged president asking for the audiobook version of the doctored transcript to be read aloud for his edification.
Unfortunately for Trump, denial of wrongdoing — after it has been confirmed by multiple witnesses to the illegal scheme to involve a foreign government in our 2020 presidential elections — is not any more credible simply because he states his innocence in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS AND APPENDS AN EXCLAMATION POINT!
True justice will be served only after all the witnesses have been called, the evidence weighed, the Senate renders a judgment based upon the evidence rather than partisan loyalties, and Trump is sitting in prison in a jumpsuit that matches his skin tone, muttering loudly to himself that the call was “PERFECT” and “NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!”
In the meantime, we can expect the president to proclaim his “alternate facts” on Twitter daily, forcing journalists to waste their time swatting down lies that have been countered endlessly with real facts while Trump bemoans the consequences of the actions which he either refuses to acknowledge actually happened or for which he spurns responsibility.
The only likely evolution of Trump’s position will be when he finally realizes that he can no longer deny the facts at hand.
At that point, we can expect Trump to shift from “NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!” to “I DID NOTHING WRONG, BUT THESE PEOPLE WHO REPORT TO ME NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!” as he throws Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, and any other handy scapegoat under the bus to try to save his own skin.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.