As Trevor reported, President Trump’s interview with Pat Robertson was yet another opportunity for him to bolster his own position by denigrating Hillary Clinton.
Yes, according to the president, Vladimir Putin wanted Clinton to win the election. His logic? That she would’ve destroyed the military and wreaked havoc on energy costs, all to Russia’s gain.
A quick glance at some recent events makes this argument a little hard to swallow. To name just a few instances:
• The Trump administration has expressed interest in giving control of two diplomatic compounds back to the Russians after President Obama revoked their privileges last year.
• The administration is also trying to weaken a bill that would impose sanctions on Russia for interfering in the presidential election.
• And, duh, the president’s own son is currently embroiled in a scandal that has come very close to proving outright collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government against Clinton.
Yet here we are. Trump’s reliance on bashing Clinton may have something to do with the fact that some people really don’t like her. They didn’t like her before the election. And according to a recent Gallup poll, they don’t like her now — a fact that is particularly weird since most almost-presidents become more likable after their loss.
So no, the people’s Hillary hatred apparently wasn’t quenched by the humiliation she faced by losing to this guy. In fact, it’s still a galvanizing force for the president and his allies.
As The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky noted this week, Fox News host and Trump fanboy Sean Hannity took the time in his interview with Donald Trump Jr. on July 11 to bring attention to the Clinton campaign’s supposed coordination with Ukraine — even though there are numerous reasons why that wasn’t analogous to the first son’s current predicament.
The morning following this interview, the president tweeted this:
Why aren't the same standards placed on the Democrats. Look what Hillary Clinton may have gotten away with. Disgraceful!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2017
Then, over the weekend, Trump doubled down in a tweet designed to redirect public attention toward the scandals surrounding the 2016 election — an election that, at this point, was held over eight months ago:
HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2017
You’d be excused for reading this as “But her emails,” Part 5,000. It’s unclear what exactly the president is referring to when he cites these things that Hillary Clinton “may have gotten away with.” What is pretty clear is that Trump himself isn’t actually interested in finding out what those things are because he dropped his threat to investigate her mere weeks after winning the election.
It’s possible that Trump hasn’t pursued an investigation into Clinton because he’s too busy with the rest of his agenda. (After all, he barely has time to watch TV these days.) It’s also possible that Trump hasn’t pursued an investigation because he relies on speculation about what Clinton might have done as a convenient, catch-all excuse. As long as he doesn’t pursue any real action, anything’s possible. And that’s probably the point.