Graves: The man who knows too little
"The president is the most informed person on planet earth." - Kayleigh McEnany, White House spokesperson who was never going to lie
I know that people can't be blamed for keeping an eye on the future, especially when Donald Trump's reelection prospects seem to be melting faster than the polar ice caps, but has anyone told Ms. McEnany that "Baywatch" went off the air a long time ago?
There are some obvious problems with the statement by the fourth press secretary saddled with sculpting the lies emanating from the president's undisciplined mouth. As far as Mr. Trump's supporters are concerned, merely limiting his vast knowledge to the confines of a single planet was short-sighted. Is she implying that there may be smarter entities somewhere in the universe?
Ms. McEnany was careful not to explicitly state that the president actually listens to the attempts to make him informed. If vital intelligence reports are not shared with the groupies on "Fox and Friends," there is a good chance that the president of the United States is oblivious to the information. Mr. Trump can't be bothered to read things or listen to people who actually know what they are talking about. He depends upon that infallible instinct that saw him through six bankruptcies, countless failed businesses, three wives, and Vietnam.
It was inevitable that Trump's obliviousness and his chronic incompetence would end up getting people killed. Those aren't "fake" bodies being buried all over the nation or flown home from a war zone.
A restricted, high-level meeting in March at the White House was called to inform Trump that Russia was offering a bounty to Taliban militants for killing United States service personnel in Afghanistan. The transfer of large amounts of money from Russian military accounts to Taliban-linked accounts lent credence to the reports. A number of American troops have been killed since the bounty went into effect and, presumably, some members of the Taliban reaped financial benefits from the deaths.
It is, very likely, one of the most outrageous and diabolical acts committed by a former KGB thug who is dedicated to destroying the United States. Mr. Trump claims that he "wasn't informed," but advisors to the president have stated that he flies into a fury if anything negative about Russia is brought up.
Even well-compensated defenders like McEnany hesitated to say that the information about the bounties was not among the written daily briefings submitted to the president, most of which he can't be bothered to read.
I think I already mentioned that Mr. Trump isn't big on reading.
It brings us back to familiar terrain in the constantly shifting sands that we have ruefully come to know. With Trump, it is never as simple as what did he know and when did he know it. The question is was he even listening when he was told or was his mind on that chip shot that left him in a sand trap last weekend.
A mind so compulsively self-absorbed doesn't compute potential threats to anyone else. They don't register with him at all. He'll blithely dismiss the potential threat of a deadly virus as a "hoax," but tell him that a gopher is damaging one of his golf courses and he'll listen attentively.
Even after finally acknowledging an awareness of the Kremlin's despicable machinations, the commander-in-chief has done nothing to respond, again giving rise to one of the biggest mysteries of the modern age: What the hell does Vladimir Putin have on Donald Trump?
The bewildering camaraderie between the two men, one a confirmed and vicious tyrant and the other an aspiring one, is more than just a birds of a feather bonding. There seems to be no limit to what outrages Putin can commit upon both this country and the world that Mr. Trump doesn't minimize or dismiss.
Right from the start of Trump's decision to play politician there were concerns that his ties with the Russians would compromise American interests. Every intelligence agency in this nation would later report that Russia actively interfered with the 2016 election despite the howls of denial from the man who, during his campaign, pointedly asked Russian operatives to hack Hillary Clinton's emails.
Like all wannabe tyrants since men first crawled out of caves, Trump likes to wrap himself in the flag. There is a nauseating image of him kissing a flag and muttering "I love you, baby," at a CPAC convention in February. His supporters equate any opposition to their phony little hero, who now calls himself — five deferments notwithstanding — "The Lone Warrior," as evidence of a lack of patriotism.
The rest of us, quite rightly, understand that there is no greater urgency, as far as the future of this country is concerned, than getting rid of Donald Trump and the Republicans who have aided and abetted his appalling cruelty and ineptitude by collusion or by silence for nearly four years.
The big difference between Putin and Trump is that the former is a smart and savvy man. The later well let's face it, folks, a Nantucket fog is a lot brighter. And, if you were a smart person at the head of a government that was dedicated to undermining the best interests of the United States, wouldn't you utilize every means at your disposal to install a man exactly like Donald Trump in the White House?
Alden Graves writes a regular column for the Manchester Journal.
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