Any expert in truth detection will tell you it’s sometimes what they don’t say that’s revealing. On Tuesday, in front of reporters, Donald Trump pitifully attempted to claw back his treasonous comments from Monday with the substitution of the single word “would” with “wouldn’t.” Few but his most rabidly fawning lickspittles bought that one. But in his haste to repair the accurate perception that Trump has sold out his country to a hostile foreign power, the “stable genius” made a grave error. He accidentally allowed his notes for the speech to be photographed by laying them flat on the desk in front of him.
Page two of his notes were photographed upside down and then posted by several major news outlets. When viewed right side up, here’s what was seen. First, he added the words, “There was NO COLUSION [sic],” in his characteristic felt pen, the familiar mantra Trump has repeated ad infinitum since the discovery that he and his minions acted in secret with the Russians to destroy American Democracy and swing the 2016 election in his favor. Okay, no shock that.
In the next paragraph comes a deliberate lie, “I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians interfered in our elections.” He has done no such thing, unless of course he means he swiftly denied such findings. But what follows immediately has been crossed out with the same felt pen. “Anyone involved in that meddling to justice.”
Of course, this last is a sentence fragment that technically means nothing in and of itself. But in the context of the horrendous grammar of the White House Press office in general and Trump in particular, it’s pretty clear the original meaning was, “Anyone involved in that meddling [should be brought] to justice.”
Did Trump cross it out because of bad grammar? We doubt it. He could have repaired the line with the same felt pen. And, as it’s a line containing a threat, it’s unlikely that a man who loves to threaten, as Trump certainly does, wouldn’t savor any opportunity to enunciate so bellicose a line.
Donald Trump wanted the line gone for the same reason Michael Flynn would no doubt like to see the words “lock her up!” erased from history. Because Trump knew that line could one day come back to haunt him. Because Trump meddled in the election, and to quote his almost utterance, anyone involved in that meddling should be brought to justice.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.