Despite claiming that he always hires “the best people” and runs his White House like a “well-oiled machine,” the President’s associates just so happen to keep on ending up in federal custody, usually for running some kind of preposterous scam or telling outrageous lies on his behalf.
Today brought the surprise indictment and arrest of Trump’s former campaign manager and White House strategist Steve Bannon, who was busted stealing money from a crowdfunded effort to build Trump’s infamous border wall with money raised from his gullible supporters.
This brings the total of Trump 2016 campaign managers facing criminal charges to three out of four — though the last one, Corey Lewandowski, assaulted a female reporter and has been credibly accused of sexual assault, so it’s not like he was some paragon of virtue either.
When challenged by reporters on how many of his associates have found themselves on the wrong end of the law, the President fell back on his excuse for everything — blame President Obama.
“Well there was great lawlessness in the Obama administration, they spied on our campaign illegally, and if you look at all of the things and all of the scandals they had, they had tremendous lawlessness, but I know nothing about — I was not involved in the project, I have no idea who was, but I can tell you I didn’t know the people, the three people that were talked about, were people I do not know.”
REPORTER: Sir, it's not just Steve Bannon. It's Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort. What's that say about your judgement and the culture of lawlessness around you?
TRUMP: Well, there was great lawlessness in the Obama administration. pic.twitter.com/sjRExKljrz
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 20, 2020
This, of course, is an obvious lie, as he himself admitted later on when he said that he didn’t know “anything about the project at all” but also that he “didn’t like that project” either because it was being done for “showboating reasons.”
Trump tells reporters of the We Build the Wall campaign both that he didn’t “know anything about the project at all” and that he “didn’t like that project” because he thought it was “being done for showboating reasons.”
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) August 20, 2020
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Trump scandal without the President himself being on the record saying something along the lines of “yes I approve of this project and you can put that on the record:”
Kris Kobach in a January 2019 interview connected the border wall fundraising scheme to Trump: "I talked with the president, and the 'We Build the Wall Effort’' came up. The president said 'the project has my blessing, and you can tell the media that.'" https://t.co/iUFv5sdg4f
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) August 20, 2020
It’s obvious at this point that nothing the president says or does can be taken seriously, since he’s contradicting himself in his own statements. So too is the futility of trying to hold him accountable for his own words, since he has no shame or any moral compass. While it’s despicable to see him once again smear President Obama with his absurd conspiracy theories, we should just ignore his babbling and focus all our efforts on getting him out of office this November.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.