We’re still not entirely sure what to make of Wednesday evening’s press briefing, in which Trump stooge John Ratcliffe insisted that Iran is somehow trying to steer the election against Donald Trump, and then FBI Director Christopher Wray pointed out that Russia is the real election meddler. The whole thing was just bizarre. But we do know this: it was a huge swing and miss for Trump.
Consider this: the FBI just held a primetime press briefing thirteen days before the election which, despite Ratcliffe’s muddled effort, won’t deliver a single vote to Donald Trump. Now contrast this with then-FBI Director James Comey’s announcement eleven days before the 2016 election that Hillary Clinton was under criminal investigation (when she wasn’t), which caused a last minute four-point shift in the polls and changed the outcome of the election.
It’s not as if Ratcliffe or the FBI can hold a press conference every few days and be taken seriously. What we saw Wednesday night certainly won’t be the last Trump attempt at pushing the intel community into manipulating the election, but it was a big swing, and it utterly failed. It used up a space on the bingo card, so to speak, and for no gain.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report