Donald Trump’s affinity for conspiracy theories has never been especially healthy, but making matters worse is his eagerness to connect his conspiracy theories to Watergate.
According to the current president, for example, Uranium One is Watergate. So is the non-existent wiretapping of Trump Tower. Benghazi, Trump assures us, is “bigger than Watergate.” What’s more, Joe Arpaio’s investigation into Barack Obama’s birth certificate, Trump wrote in 2012, “could dwarf Watergate.”
Today, the Republican was at it again.
“Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November? Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented. Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.”
From time to time, Trump’s conspiracy theories are outrageous in offensive ways, but this latest missive is more pitiful than infuriating.
Let’s summarize the basic details that the president doesn’t seems to find confusing:
1. The Justice Department began investigating the Trump campaign in 2016 because there was quite a bit of evidence of wrongdoing.
2. The idea that this was done to help Hillary Clinton is unusually silly, not just because the Justice Department was apparently opposed to the Democratic nominee, but also because if the investigation was a scheme to hurt the Trump campaign, the Justice Department would’ve told the public about the probe.
Keeping this information from voters – even while alerting the public to the investigation into Clinton’s email server – is the exact opposite of what federal law enforcement officials would’ve done if they were trying to help the Democratic ticket.
3. If the president wants us to take his various “bigger than Watergate!” declarations seriously, he should perhaps make these claims less frequently.
4. Obama did a lot more than “nothing” about the Russian election attack that Trump spent a year and a half denying. Indeed, the Democratic president imposed harsh sanctions on Russia – Trump might recall his national security advisor’s chat with Moscow about the sanctions – and the then-president tried to get bipartisan support for a stronger response. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) refused.
Or put another way, everything in Trump’s little Twitter tantrum this morning was wrong in ways he really ought to understand.