Another week, another truly ridiculous moment from our overly-tanned president.
While Mitch McConnell and his crew of tax-cut-humping minions were busy taking healthcare away from millions of people, Donald Trump took to twitter to resolve any notion that he may have taped his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. Trump tweeted,
“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”
This is a classic Trump tactic. There’s no real admission of anything here, despite the fact that the president himself started the entire debacle when he tweeted that Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations.”
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
According to CNN, Trump was urged by figures within his own administration to clear up his claims of the tapes’ existence,
“A senior administration official said Thursday that it became clear Trump had to come clean on his lie about the Comey tapes before the Friday deadline set on him by Congress to hand over any recordings.”
Up until now, Trump administration spokespeople have tried to talk around the question of the tapes, with Sean Spicer saying back in May that the tweet “speaks for itself.”
With Congress applying pressure to the Trump administration, albeit a very small amount of pressure, it became clear that Trump had to clear the situation up.
Trump has a history of threatening people over the possible existence of tapes. According to Trump biographer Tim O’Brien, speaking on Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources,” this tactic seemed all too familiar.
O’Brien said of Trump’s claims that he had recorded their conversations,
“My attorney said, ‘Mr. Trump, do you have a taping system?’ And he said no. And he said, ‘Well then, why did you say this to Mr. O’Brien?’ And he essentially said, ‘I wanted to intimidate him.'”
This is not just some shoddy prospective business deal that Trump is running his mouth about, he alluded to taping the FBI Director in a private conversation.
The entire fiasco is purely Nixonian. President Richard Nixon was known to record virtually every conversation he had.
With former members of Nixon’s staff behind Trump’s own rise to prominence, the similarity in styles is clearly far from coincidental.
Whether or not Donald Trump actually recorded James Comey is not really the question at hand here.
The President of the United States of America is tweeting about secret “tapes” in order to intimidate a former FBI Director who was fired for investigations around possible Russian cooperation with that very President’s campaign.
Our democracy continues to crumble slowly away under the non-watchful eye of this president.
The news cycle has become so intense and ridiculous that this story will probably vanish within hours, especially in lieu of the healthcare bill the GOP put forth today, which will strip millions of Americans their health insurance.
No tweaks by amendment can fix this monstrosity. If you vote for this evil, intellectually bankrupt bill, it will ruin millions of lives.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 22, 2017
All of the drama around the president and his Twitter account takes away from the very real issues of the GOP-led Congress, like the healthcare bill and consistent degradation of civil rights across the board.
Luckily, with our country leaving the Paris Agreement, we can all take solace in the fact that there probably won’t be much of an earth for much longer. I, for one, welcome the rising tides of the oceans.