What is Donald Trump’s motivation for his current lie? GCHQ, the British spy agency, “wiretapped” his phones at Obama’s behest. Pundits are labeling this as just another bit of Trump bullshit, but it’s not. It is a carefully crafted, and frankly brilliant piece of manipulation.
Obama, the former National Intelligence Director, the FBI Director, the Speaker of the House, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and even FOX News all denied the claim. The NSA Deputy Director claimed it was “errant nonsense” and stated of the GCHQ, “Of course they wouldn’t do it. It would be epically stupid.”
So why did Sean Spicer quote FOX News guest Andrew Napolitano, who Trump refers to as “a certain very talented legal mind?” Why did Spicer say on Friday, “I don’t think we regret anything?”
What happens when it comes out that a Russian spy agency was feeding information to the Trump team during the campaign? The NSA and FBI have both confirmed that the Russians interfered with the election. In July, Trump said to Russia that he hoped they would find Clinton’s missing emails. He offered them the incentive, Russia “will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” I posit that the Trump team gave aid and comfort to Russian spies within the United States. When the details of Trump’s ties to Russia are public, how will people react?
40% of Americans still support this man. Now they have a new tool in their arsenal of rationalization and denial: Obama used foreign spying. Obama got off, and so can their guy. Napolitano’s lie was the perfect lie. Of course Trump latched on, because now, according to his version of truth, secret collaboration with foreign spies has a precedent. No big deal; it goes on all the time. Now 40% of Americans have a reason to accept giving aid to foreign spies as a natural part of our political process. That is why Trump is putting this lie out there. He wants to keep his popularity high so that Congress will be unable to remove him from office.
Who else thinks that Stephen K. Bannon is Napolitano’s uncredited source of “intelligence?”