Here Are 56 Times Donald Trump Used WikiLeaks To Attack Clinton In The Election

Rather than stick to a single, coherent message, the president is trying out several contradictory ones. It cannot be true that the collusion is no big deal and also that Obama was negligent in handling it and also that the Clinton campaign colluded in worrisome ways:

General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018

And as his recourse to poll data indicates, Trump also does not differentiate between domestic politics and the national interest, nor between his own interest and the national interest. With Friday’s indictment now public—detailing copious, information about the troll game to interfere with the election—National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster called the evidence of Russian meddling “incontrovertible.”

McMaster offered Trump a way out: Acknowledge and condemn the Russian action, say it’s an affront to America, and move on. He could also lie low, and let the indictment speak for itself. This is not what Trump has done, though. The official White House statement on the indictment focused instead on claiming, misleadingly, that it vindicated the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia. (The collusion allegations center elsewhere, away from the troll operation.) With his furious, contradictory denials, Trump focuses attention on himself, and raises questions about why he is unwilling to acknowledge what his own top aide calls incontrovertible evidence. By insisting on conflating attacks from Russia with the legitimacy of his electoral victory, he in fact only raises more questions about the latter, without debunking the former.

Trump and McMaster differ on another important point. Speaking about the Russian campaign in Munich on Saturday, McMaster dismissed its efficacy. “It’s just not working,” he said. Trump disagreed:

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018

The president has the more credible argument here. The U.S. is obviously deeply divided over Russian interference, and Trump continues to play a central role in ensuring that remains the case.

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