Earlier today, the actual President took a moment, surrounded by his closest advisors like the Godfather of bad opinions, to defend fellow alleged harasser Bill O'Reilly and randomly accuse former National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice of committing a crime, the New York Times reports.
We’ll present this to you as a shot of false allegations followed by a refreshing chaser of misogyny. Shot: Trump accusing Rice of a crime despite having no apparent evidence and refusing to say anything of substance.
“I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” he said. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”
The allegations of improper unmasking—that Rice and her department revealed the names of Trump campaign officials that had contact with foreign agents—are typical Trump dissembling. There’s also likely no merit to his accusations. Essentially, Trump’s claim is that Rice acted illegally when she revealed that his employees may have been collaborating with Russian agents to… do something. We won’t say “encourage hacking,” because Trump literally did that in public to TV cameras, no secrecy required. The mental gymnastics required to get from “You’re saying my people are criminals” to “Actually, you’re the criminal for pointing it out” might have taken home gold in Rio.
The news is fake but the leaks are real, is the classic line.
Chaser: the O'Reilly defense. Trump declared just six days ago that April was National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. And you’ll recall that O'Reilly’s show is losing advertisers after revelations that he and Fox News paid out roughly $13 million to women he allegedly harassed.
“I think he’s a person I know well—he is a good person,” Trump said of O'Reilly. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
Technically, if you squint really hard, Trump is raising awareness of sexual assault here. And by encouraging O'Reilly not to settle out of court, he’s asking his second biggest defender to do the same. A true hero to women, when he’s not accusing them of crimes with no evidence.
We have to leave you with this instantly iconic rhetorical parry, in response to the question of whether Trump thought Rice had committed a crime.
“Do I think?“ Trump said. "Yes, I think.”
News to us!