Donald Trump’s inflated conspiracy theories about FBI misconduct in its investigation of his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia were demolished by the inspector general of the Justice Department’s report on the bureau’s inquiry today, but that didn’t stop the president from repeating his unsubstantiated rumor in the “people are saying” category of unreliability.
Trump ignored the fact-finding by Inspector General Michael Horowitz to focus on propagating the completely unsourced allegation that the FBI had a “representative implanted, for political purposes,” into his campaign for president “very early on,” before the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia became a “‘hot’ Fake News story,” as he’s been trying to do for well over a year.
Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
The president’s old tweet was a transparent attempt to pretend that what the inspector general has now found — that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” to initiate the investigation and that no illegal spying was being conducted on his campaign nor was there any political bias involved in the decision to begin the investigations — isn’t actually the case.
Unusually, Trump admitted in the tweet the possibility that the “reports” he refers to are not actually factual with a telling disclaimer — “if true,” a clause that should be appended to basically everything the president utters.
Trump’s old tweet resurfaced after Democrats declared his accusations of investigative misconduct by the FBI essentially as dead as the majority of his hair follicles.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) had a chance to review the inspector general’s report ahead of its public release and stated that Horowitz had “completely demolished” right-wing talking points about the illegitimacy of the FBI probe even though some problems were found with the behavior of a lower-level FBI lawyer in the FISA warrant application process.
“Clearly, there was a legitimate, factual basis; in fact the FBI had a moral imperative to begin this investigation,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal went on to say that the report should lay to rest accusations that there was any illegal surveillance or entrapment of Trump campaign advisers and that political motive was “in any way a factor.”
It took Donald Trump only a few hours to prove to Senator Blumenthal that he had underestimated the president’s ability to generate variations on the same accusations that were just discredited to continue to try to convince that small portion of the American public who still thinks he has the capability of saying anything remotely connected to actual reality that he is innocent of the allegations that have already landed his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen in prison while his close political advisor Roger Stone is awaiting sentencing.
Clearly, Trump has no shame and will say or do anything to avoid taking responsibility for his crimes while playing the victim of a murky and totally invented conspiracy by unnamed political enemies. It’s just one more example of why he is unqualified to continue as president of theUnited States.
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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.