#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor
The intersection of #DimensionTrump and coming right out and saying it is itself a futile endeavor; something can easily go here about parallel lines, overlap, and single tracks. Meanwhile, there is a no longer confidential memo from John Dowd to Robert Mueller, in January, and it is worth reconsidering the last several months of presidential simmer and tantrum in light of what we learn. Steve Benen tries, today, explaining one particular aspect:
This was the first time Trump World acknowledged the president’s direct role in dictating the wording of his son’s statement to the New York Times. In fact, the president’s legal team and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders specifically told the public, on multiple occasions, that Trump had nothing to do with crafting that statement. Those denials, we now know, were plainly false.
Over the course of the last year, Trump and his team have already changed their story about the purpose of the meeting—more than once—and these new revelations take the evolving narrative in an even messier direction.
Asked about the contradictions, Rudy Giuliani told ABC News yesterday, “This is the reason you don’t let the president testify. Our recollection keeps changing.”
And there you have it. Something, something, mumble, murmur only goes downhill from there. Or not. Giuliani could stand at the bottom of a giant sinkhole and tout the merits of natural engineering, and for some reason people would try to take him seriously.
There is plenty to gasp and murmur and fret about; the Dowd memo is itself fast becoming notorious somewhere on a scale ranging ‘twixt laughably preposterous and genuinely evil. Nonetheless, the bizarre adventures of Rudy Giuliani working in his capacity as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney in the Mueller probe, while a spectacle of monumental clusterdiddling we all might somehow feel ashamed for having witnessed, makes some sense according to a fundamental acknowledgment of guilt, to the one, and a stubborn assertion that a sitting president is beyond indictment, such that he is in fact working politics against the proposition of impeachment; as we learned late last month:
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed on Sunday that the president and his allies’ attempts to discredit the Mueller investigation—including the most recent so-called Spygate controversy—are part of a public relations campaign aimed at staving off impeachment. “It is for public opinion,” the former New York mayor admitted during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. And while trying to shape public opinion is the rarely acknowledged goal of any presidential administration, what Giuliani said next was unique to Trump’s: “Because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach or not impeach.”
More particularly, the former U.S. Attorney and New York City mayor is explicitly relying on voter enthusiasm to harangue politicians into either not impeaching or not convicting President Trump. “Our jury is,” Giuliani explained last month, “as it should be, the American people.”
We might hold ourselves answered and informed that, yes, someone really is going to throw down explicitly that they did this or that but it’s not illegal simply because they say so on the merit of sincerely held beliefs in alternative facts. Nonetheless, while Benen is not wrong to suggest unintentional hilarity about Mr. Giuliani’s assertion of changing recollection, part of the deeper significance about what seems a string of confessions and even boasts advertising the President’s guilt, there persists an important and even dangerous question about whether we are laughing at the absurdity of a lie, or the spectacle of delusional human beings telling us largely unvarnished truth about what they think they see.
Nor need we disdain what Mr. Benen finds laughable or hilarious; toward that, the more significant aspect would be that #DimensionTrump should generate so many opportunities and vectors for inquiry in re: the President of the United States.
And while it may be #WhatTheyVotedFor, this is also an alarming proposition in no small part because we absolutely must, at some point, take it seriously.
Image note: Composite image: Donald Trump speaks to the National Rifle Association convention, in Dallas, Texas, 4 May 2018 (Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters); Rudy Giuliani speaks at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., 5 May 2018 (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo); uncredited protest image of Vladimir Putin.
Benen, Steve. “Giuliani: ‘Our recollection keeps changing’ on infamous meeting”. msnbc. 4 June 2018.
Danner, Chas. “Giuliani Admits ‘Spygate’ Is PR in Anticipation of Impeachment”. New York. 27 May 2018.
“The Trump Lawyers’ Confidential Memo to Mueller, Explained”. The New York Times. 2 June 2018.