Buzzfeed released an outrageous report Tuesday on Donald Trump that basically alleges he is being blackmailed and controlled by the Russian government. Without going into details, the report states that Russian has accumulated a collection of damaging personal and financial details about Trump, and is using them against him — basically making him Putin’s puppet.
After the report — which was unverified, even by Buzzfeed — was released, I followed the coverage and commentary, both online and off, very closely. In between all of the jokes and memes and digs and questions, I noticed one troubling trend. Not once did I see or hear a single person who doubted the claims from the Buzzfeed report based on their view of Trump’s character. As salacious and wild as the claims were, not once did I see or hear someone say “Oh, hell no. Trump would never do that.”
And that’s sad.
People questioned the authenticity of the documents. People questioned the authorship of the documents. People questioned the motives behind their release, but not whether or not he would stoop to such lows described in the documents.
Donald Trump has such a history of poor morality, low character, and unethical dealings that when we hear or read something as wild as the latest allegations, we don’t automatically assume they are impossible. Anything is possible with Donald Trump.
Buzzfeed released a report Tuesday on Donald Trump that basically alleges he is being blackmailed and controlled by Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.
We are talking about a man who openly bragged about forcefully kissing complete strangers when he is attracted to them and grabbing women by the genitals when he feels like it.
We are talking about a man whose first wife, in a sworn deposition, said that he raped and assaulted her. Ivana Trump later said she didn’t want the allegation to be considered in a literal or criminal sense.
We are talking about a man who has openly admitted cheating on his past wives and having sexual affairs with other married women.
We are talking about a man with allegations from over a dozen women claiming he sexually assaulted them.
In just nine days our nation will inaugurate a man of such low character that even the most perverted and scandalous allegations are well within the realm of possibility.
We are talking about a man who the Pulitzer Prize winning fact checking organization, Politifact, said tells lies the overwhelming majority of times he opens his mouth.
This is where we are right now. In just nine days our nation will inaugurate a man of such low character that even the most perverted and scandalous allegations are well within the realm of possibility. How will we ever trust that he is doing the right thing? How will we ever trust that he is making the principled decision?
As he now yells about “fake news,” he must come to grips with the fact that he is somewhat the father of fake news. His very foray into politics came as he promoted the fake and racist assertion that President Obama was not actually an American citizen, but some type of complicated imposter, perhaps a plant from a terrorist organization, designed to destroy our country and subvert our democracy. For years Trump held on to this assertion, fake news at its worst, even claiming that he had dispatched private investigators into the matter.
It was all a ruse.
I don’t trust Donald Trump. I never will. I’d be a damn fool to trust him now. He’s 70 years old. His character is fully formed. We know who he is. What we don’t know is where he will soon take this nation.