Ever since Donald Trump decided to go from real estate mogul and reality-show actor to politician, one thing has been almost as certain as death and taxes–unhinged morning tweetstorms from the Donald. Sunday morning was no different. However, when he went on his latest 280-character rant, Trump may have dug himself in his deepest hole yet.
For over a year, Trump has insisted that a meeting at Trump Tower between First Son Donald Trump Jr., First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a number of Russians was focused on making it easier for Americans to date Russian children. But on Sunday, Trump admitted what virtually everyone except his most diehard supporters already knew–that the meeting was actually intended to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Trump may have been trying to deflect reports from both The Washington Post and CNN that his increasingly unhinged tweets are out of fear that special counsel Robert Mueller is getting too close to Donald Jr. But in so doing, he confessed that his campaign was the first major-party presidential campaign to actively solicit dirt on an opponent from a hostile foreign power. He also tacitly admitted that he willfully deceived the public when he drafted the initial response after this story broke in 2017.
While much of the press coverage of this tweet has centered on the potential legal ramifications, it’s equally telling what we haven’t heard. With few exceptions, most of Trump’s staunch defenders haven’t even attempted to parse this on social media.
A very notable exception is Emmy Award-winning actor James Woods, one of the most outspoken members of a very exclusive club–actors who support Trump. It was already no secret that Woods’ loyalty to Trump runs very deep–enough that he has no qualms about lending his imprimatur to right-wing urban legends.
For instance, he once claimed that Democrats want to pack the voter rolls with illegal immigrants.
He was also one of many prominent conservatives to peddle the lie that George Soros was actually a Nazi sympathizer.
But on Monday morning, Woods revealed just how deep his loyalty runs. He thought that the investigation into Russia’s attempt to hack the election was a big yawn. The tweet has since been deleted, but we have receipts.
Um, James? There is overwhelming evidence that Russia attempted to influence our election–an attack on the very foundations of our democracy. Getting to the bottom of how it happened would hardly qualify as “boring.” And that would especially be true if Trump campaign operatives crawled into bed with the Kremlin in order to help Trump get over the finish line.
But even without that to consider, this tweet was ill-timed. Woods fired off this tweet at 12:25 p.m. Eastern–four hours after Trump’s tweet. It is simply inconceivable that Woods didn’t know that the tubes were lighting up in response to Trump essentially admitting that his campaign solicited help from the Kremlin. It was still visible for much of Sunday, but was deleted sometime early Sunday night.
With all due respect, James, this situation is as far as you can get from being “just a bore.” At best, the Trump Tower meeting was grossly improper. Campaign staffers from both parties have said they would never agree to meet with interest representing a hostile foreign actor. The one person who should have known this was Manafort–and yet, he did nothing. At worst, it was potentially treasonous, since any “opposition research” obtained from the Kremlin could amount to espionage.
On paper, there may be a plausible explanation for Woods dismissing this as “just a bore.” After all, a poll from Public Policy Polling taken after the meeting came to light showed only 45 percent of Trump supporters believed the meeting happened–even after Donald Jr. admitted the meeting happened. But then again, Woods says he veered hard right in the wake of Bill Clinton’s impeachment, when every Democratic Senator voted against convicting Clinton of perjury.
So Woods believing that Clinton perjured himself was enough for him to cast off his Democratic ties. But learning that Trump’s campaign committed potentially treasonous conduct when it solicited dirt on Hillary from a hostile foreign actor isn’t enough to shake Woods’ loyalty to Trump? The mind reels.
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