The Trump Rumors

by Victor Davis Hanson

The breaking intelligence disclosures about Trump are so bizarre and self-contradictory that it seems wise not to speculate about anything until the entire story is properly sourced, especially since the documents were for-hire hit-pieces and have been peddled around for some time, are not in a style comparable with intelligence reports, contain likely impossible scenarios (certain people in places that they have never been). And given the strange role of Senators John McCain and Charles Schumer, the one supposedly passing on to the FBI the contracted report, the other recently warning Trump that intelligence agencies have ways to get even with their critics, we should all wait at least 24 hours before fueling speculations.

The rhetorical question asked by some at NR, “Why is admiration for Putin and his government the only issue Trump has never wavered, equivocated, or flip-flopped on?” is by its very nature supposed to suggest some credence to the nefarious accusations by the adduction of a supposedly known, uncontested and otherwise inexplicable fact; but that fact is simply not true: Trump has not wavered, equivocated, or flip-flopped on his dislike of the Iran Deal, his support for Israel, on jawboning China on matters of trade, on increasing the defense budget, on expanding fracking, on building Keystone, on promoting clean-coal production, on revising the tax code, on acting quickly to address Obamacare, on pruning away regulations, on favoring school choice, on deporting illegal aliens with criminal records, on addressing some sort of wall or fence on the border, on his braggadocio about bombing/hitting back at ISIS, on his criticism of the Libya bombing, etc.

Trump like all politicians has a campaign and governance mode (cf. Obama in 2008 on everything from the debt to raising taxes to gay marriage to open borders) and he seems to be backtracking, as is wise, on mass deportations of those illegal aliens who are crime free, employed, and have proof of extended residence in the U.S., but he certainly has not flipped on everything (“the only issue”) but Putin. That simply is inaccurate and does not help the effort to get to the bottom of all this.

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