Trump Is Horrendous in West Virginia

Yesterday, Special Counsel Robert Muller impaneled a grand jury as part of his Russia investigation, which has naturally made Donald Trump very unhappy. So, at another Make America Clap for Me Again rally in West Virginia last night, Trump went off on an egregiously disingenuous rant in his own defense:
In what might be seen as a bid to weaponise his populist base, Trump told the crowd in Huntington, a coal country stronghold where he beat Hillary Clinton by 42 percentage points: "Most people know there were no Russians in our campaign; there never were. We didn't win because of Russia. We won because of you."

The crowd, many with "Make America great again" hats or signs, erupted in vociferous cheers. Trump continued: "We won because we totally outworked the other side. We won because of millions of patriotic Americans voted to take back their country."

The president asked mockingly: "Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia or Ohio or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians here tonight, any Russians? They can't beat us at the voting booths so they're trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They're trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us and most importantly demeaning to our country and demeaning to our constitution."

"I just hope the final determination is a truly honest one, which is what the millions of people who gave us our big win in November deserve and what all Americans who want a better future want and deserve," the president added ominously.

"Democrat lawmakers will have to decide. They can continue their obsession with the Russian hoax or they can serve the interests of the American people. Try winning at the voter booth. Not going to be easy, but that's the way you're supposed to do it."

Trump spared the media his usual broadsides and instead focused on the Democrats, whom he claimed were trying to find an excuse for "the greatest loss in the history of American politics." Prosecutors should be looking for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails, he added, prompting thunderous cheers and chants of "Lock her up!" – some nine months after the election.
To be clear: This is what I mean when I say that the collusion happened — and continues to happen — right out in the open. There is agreement among U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election to Trump's benefit, which should concern any patriotic American who values our national sovereignty. But Trump casts aspersions on the investigation, implies its findings will be fraudulent, demonizes the Democrats, and makes fucking jokes about how there are no Russians running about the countryside.

(Actually, there are: "In the throes of the 2016 campaign, the FBI found itself with an escalating problem: Russian diplomats, whose travel was supposed to be tracked by the State Department, were going missing. The diplomats, widely assumed to be intelligence operatives, would eventually turn up in odd places, often in middle-of-nowhere USA. ...It's a trend that has led intelligence officials to conclude that the Kremlin is waging a quiet effort to map the United States' telecommunications infrastructure, perhaps preparing for an opportunity to disrupt it.")

Trump's ridiculous rhetoric serves to enable continued Russian attacks on the U.S. by pretending — and inviting his base to pretend — that such attacks don't even exist.

Meanwhile, he makes sure that the ire of his fawning, unquestioning base remains firmly directed at Hillary Clinton, who is neither a figure in government nor a candidate for office.

Trump is dangerous, and he's appallingly disloyal to the country he's meant to lead. I know that's like observing that the sky is blue, but I'm going to keep saying it anyway, since so many other people refuse to say it. Or believe it.

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