Whenever “Trump” and “Russia” are uttered in the same sentence, the world collectively holds its breath. What’s to follow? How bad will it be? Well, this time, it’s pretty bad.
During a brief press conference this week to discuss the rumors of Trump’s dealings with Russia, the president failed to ease anybody’s worries. It had nothing to do with what he said, however, but more so what he wrote.
As many have pointed out, Trump had a typed up script in front of him to help him through the conference. In big bold letters, the president seemingly wrote in “There was no colusion [sic].”
Trump was reading for a typewritten script during his “clarification” moment but he made some handwritten additions, including: “THERE WAS NO COLLUSION” pic.twitter.com/0IfleZm8yJ
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) July 17, 2018
If you didn’t think it could get worse, you were absolutely wrong; because it appears he also crossed out a line that stated “Anyone involved in that meddling to justice.”
Oh my. The only line Trump crossed out of his talking points appears to say, “Anyone involved in that meddling to justice.”
So it seems Trump did not want to say that those involved in the meddling would be brought to justice. https://t.co/pmpIFPuTyB
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) July 17, 2018
So, on one hand he wanted to make sure he mentioned that there was no “colusion,” but on the other he didn’t want to assure the nation that anyone involved in the “colusion” would be brought to justice.”
The Internet isn’t blind to how this looks.
This isn't weird at all https://t.co/llxVPK97DE
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) July 17, 2018
Why Trump wrote “There was no colusion” on his script is confusing. It’s a point he’s made time and time again and is likely one he wouldn’t forget to make… if it were true.
Trump's consciousness of guilt is so transparent it would be comical…if the future of our democracy wasn't at stake. https://t.co/uR1ZPrjzwt
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) July 17, 2018
Does anyone else think that Trump writes “there was no collusion” on all of his notes pages so he doesn't get confused and shout “there was collusion!” to everyone he meets?
— Michael Bridges (@MBTrumpwatcher) July 18, 2018
The president’s notes were only part of the horror show that unfolded during the conference. Despite the fact that many U.S. intelligence agencies disagree, Trump still claims there is “no reason” to believe Russia would interfere with a US election.
Critics like John O. Brennan, the former CIA director, remained vocal about Trump’s dismissal of claims of Russia’s meddling.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Mike Murphy, a GOP strategist, was just as critical of the president’s conference, calling it “traitorous” and “moronic.”
Just saw the most depressing, disgusting, toadying, weak, moronic, lie-stuffed, and damn near traitorous public hour in the long history of the American Presidency. A dark day. 1/2
— Mike Murphy (@murphymike) July 16, 2018
Trump tried to finally put an end to the collusion claims with a very frank statement:
I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.
I wish we would stop calling it meddling. Meddling is when your Aunt tries to set you up with her neighbor's daughter because she doesn't like your girlfriend. This was an attack on our nation.
— John Zaccaro (@jczesq) July 17, 2018
Ah, Trump. Trying to use the “There’s a lot of people out there” defense, implemented never because it’s a ridiculous thing to say when evidence hasn’t found blame anywhere else.
And that spot in the speech is exactly where he ad-libbed “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.” Shameful.
— Pat Leonard (@HeyHokie) July 17, 2018