The quote sometimes (mistakenly, it appears) attributed to Abraham Lincoln that goes, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt,” certainly, in any case, applies to Donald Trump. No hardened Trump supporter will disagree with me when I say there are many tweets from the so-called “president” that would have gone significantly better untweeted, inasmuch as it would have spared the “president” looking the fool, not the least of which is this monstrosity:
“For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the “walk.” Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!”
Ignore for a moment the cowardice of the statement, blaming the Democrats for his second Vietnam fail (the first being engineered by a phony diagnosis of bone spurs from a venal physician), and focus instead on Trump’s colossal misread of history. “Never done when a president is overseas,” you say, Mr “president”?
We beg to differ. From President Nixon’s official diary, June 16, 1974, “The President and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger went to the meeting room in the Palace [where] the President met with Hafiz al-Asad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic.” This meeting took place 11 days before the still sitting Senate Watergate Committee submitted its final report on the scandal surrounding Richard Nixon. The committee was in full session up until then, while Nixon was in Syria.
The idea that the Cohen hearing was an unprecedented ploy engineered for the sole purpose of ruining Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un is, therefore, just the usual paranoid malarkey from the Solipsist-in-Chief, and he can’t use his feigned moral outrage for its precedent-setting implications in any case, as we have shown. But if the hearing did have an impact on the summit, and it very well may have – guilty minds do not always function at their best, after all – then I’ve got an idea who to blame for it. How about the guy who committed the crimes that led to the hearing in the first place? Would it be too much to ask for Donald Trump to finally accept the blame for something?
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.