Even when it comes to major news outlets with a proven reputation, you still have to consider their sourcing on any given story. For instance, last week a major newspaper ran an article that was supposedly about Trump vs the Democrats, but was based largely on quotes from Steve Bannon; accordingly, that article went straight into my junk pile. That brings us to this new report about Donald Trump supposedly trying to withdraw from NATO.
First, let’s be clear: there’s no doubt Donald Trump would love to withdraw the United States from NATO, because he knows that would greatly please his puppet master Vladimir Putin. But I’m not sure what to make of the New York Times report from last night that Trump told his advisers last year that he wanted go ahead and actually withdraw the U.S. from NATO. What throws me off is the timing, and the sourcing.
The trouble is that this article is sourced to Donald Trump’s White House advisers. In other words, they’ve suddenly gone running to Trump’s least favorite newspaper to sound the alarm about a threat Trump privately made last year that he obviously never ended up acting on. So are we to believe that a Trump White House adviser has suddenly found a conscience in light of these new reports about Trump being a Russian operative, and is ratting him out for something that happened months ago? Or is Trump having his people leak this right now as a way of distracting from his disastrous shutdown?
I’m not sure what to make of this story. It’s certainly not a good look for Donald Trump. For instance, Preet Bharara tweeted that if Trump were to publicly state his desire to withdraw from NATO, it would automatically lead to his ouster – and we think Bharara is right. But we’ve seen Trump routinely create harmful scandals for himself in order to distract from his far more harmful scandals. This is not a knock on the New York Times, but let’s take this one with a gain of salt for now.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report