All but the best of poker players have a tell. Donald Trump, the worst poker player of all time, is little more than a series of tells. When he defends himself too strongly against a new revelation, it means you’re onto something. And when he instantly explodes on Twitter at a new revelation in full blown calamitous bonkers fashion, as he did on Tuesday night, you know you’ve got his latest scandal pinned down.
Donald Trump thinks it’s “sick” that the media reported on his decision during a G20 dinner to abandon his own assigned seatmates so he could spend an hour chatting it up with Vladimir Putin. That means his conversation with Putin was every bit as against America’s interests as his biggest skeptics have presumed. Trump thinks the media is trying to make him look “sinister” over it, which means that the conversation very much indeed was sinister.
Not everyone’s words can be interpreted in this manner. Most people angrily deny an accusation because it’s not true and they find the mere suggestion offensive. But Donald Trump is a different animal. For instance, in this case, the accusation is true. Other world leaders anonymously ratted him out for it to the media, so they could talk about how disconcerting they found it. So Trump is lying, as per usual, about it having not happened. And whenever Trump denies a true accusation with seething anger it means he’s really, really, really hoping people will stop looking deeper into it.
So whatever went on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin during that private hour-long dinner conversation after he’d already officially met with him privately for hours, it was every bit as nefarious as one can imagine. We don’t know precisely what we’re onto yet, but we’re onto something. Trump just told us as much.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report