Reading the transcript of Donald Trump’s interview this week with The Hill, the president repeatedly referenced support from a curious group of folks: unnamed Democrats secretly agree with him.
For example, while railing against Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Trump concluded that the federal investigation into the Russia scandal has been “discredited.” Specifically, he argued:
“It’s been totally discredited. Even Democrats agree that it’s been discredited.”
Which Democrats would those be? The president didn’t say, but we’re apparently supposed to believe they exist, and Trump knows what they’re thinking.
Similarly, The Hill asked him about the FISA Court and federal surveillance of Carter Page, Trump’s former Kremlin-linked foreign policy adviser. The president concluded:
“Even the other side knows how wrong this whole thing is.”
Again, to date, no one from the Democratic “side” has raised any concerns about Page’s surveillance, but Trump nevertheless believes he knows what his opponents are thinking – and he’s confident they agree with him.
When the discussion turned to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump again pointed to those who secretly share his beliefs.
“[M]y worst enemies, I mean, people that, you know, are on the other side of me, in a lot of ways including politically, have said that was a very unfair thing he did.”
Who are these people? He didn’t say, but the president apparently wants us to think they’re out there, quietly nodding.
About a month ago, Bloomberg News had an interesting report on Trump’s “anonymous validators” – a group of powerful, unnamed business executives, who lead companies he won’t identify, and who secretly endorse the president’s policies, even when they adversely effect their own companies’ profits.
We’re not allowed to know anything about these folks, but Trump references them frequently as proof, not only of the wisdom behind his agenda, but also of how much support he enjoys.
It’s likely Trump has simply made these people up – he has an unfortunate habit of giving detailed descriptions of conversations that never happened outside of his imagination – but compounding the problem is the apparent fact that they’re not the only “anonymous validators.”
On the contrary, the group also seems to include Democrats and folks on “the other side” who, according to Trump, agree with Trump, even if we can’t know who they are.
Anyone who assumes these people exist is probably making a mistake.