That didn’t take long. In the midst of an evening in which it was confirmed for certain that the top U.S. intelligence agencies briefs Donald Trump on blackmail material that Russia claims to be holding against him, and a subsequent leak pointed to that material consisting of videos of Trump doing perverted things with prostitutes, both Donald Trump and his attorney are in the midst of Twitter meltdowns as we speak.
First came Donald Trump’s all-caps insistence at 8:19pm that the entire story was, despite being reported on by media outlets ranging from CNN to Vanity Fair, merely “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” His tweet may be the quickest turnaround time in which a scandal has prompted him to explode into a Twitter rant. Two minutes later, Donald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen – who is alleged to have secretly met with the Russians in Prague in August to try to make the whole thing go away – tweeted a photo of his own passport along with the words “I have never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews”
The trouble: Cohen only tweeted a photo of the front cover of his passport, which doesn’t reveal anything about whether or not he’s been to Prague. But nonetheless, Trump proceeded to retweet Cohen’s clai. It’s noteworthy that they both used the term “fake news” simultaneously, suggesting they had jointly planned this strategy in advance.
In fact Donald Trump had been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter prior to his sudden meltdown tonight. He’d gone nearly twenty-four hours without tweeting anything (he uses an Android device), with the only tweets in his timeline having come from staff members (all posted via iPhone). Trump was briefed on this matter by the FBI, NSA, and CIA, so he knew it was coming – and his silence up to now suggests he’d been holding his breath.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report