Donald Trump is pretty sure that somehow, the investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties to the Kremlin has nothing to do with Donald Trump.
In what was probably an ill-advised decision, the President apparently decided to do a “brief phone call” with the New York Times on Wednesday afternoon and the soundbites are characteristically delusional.
One thing worth noting up front is that one of the bylines on the article is Peter Baker, who was the subject of a Twitter attack last month:
We did an entire post on the backstory behind that tweet – those interested can read all about it here.
Asked about the indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, Trump told the Times the following this afternoon:
I’m not under investigation, as you know.
This is down to semantics. He’s leaning on technicalities here but obviously, the idea that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has nothing to do with Donald Trump is patently absurd.
And he went further, referencing the indictment while simultaneously referring to himself in the third person:
And even if you look at that, there’s not even a mention of Trump in there.
There are, however, plenty of mentions of Manafort “in there” and Manafort was the campaign chief for Trump, and while ol’ Paul has been on the radar for a very long time, his involvement in the President’s campaign was clearly the straw that broke the camel’s back. Of course Gates was an adviser to the campaign as well.
And then there’s George Papadopolous, who was flipped by Mueller and who, according to reports out on Tuesday evening, suggested in e-mails that top Trump campaign officials agreed to a pre-election meeting with representatives of Vladimir Putin. As Bloomberg wrote, “if true, that would bolster claims that Trump’s campaign attempted to collude with Russian interests.”
In short: this is all about Donald Trump. So he’s either i) delusional, ii) desperate to convince an increasingly skeptical public that everything is fine, or more likely iii) a little bit of both.
Trump also told the Times that contrary to reports (and also to common sense), he’s “not angry at anybody.”
Finally, he swore that according to new polling from swing states (which, at least based on the tone of the Times article, no one has seen but him), he’s getting “fantastic numbers.” That would of course mark a stark contrast to the national polling, which shows that his approval ratings are at record lows.
Asked how he’s liking the job, Trump said this:
I’m really enjoying it.
Draw your own conclusions.