On August 5, 1974, an embattled President Richard Nixon submitted to a Supreme Court order in the Watergate scandal and released what became known as “The Smoking Gun” tape, a recording of himself agreeing to engineer a cover-up of circumstances surrounding the Watergate break-in. Exactly 44 years later, Donald Trump — himself embattled as the Russia collusion investigation continues to move forward — posted a Twitter message that also contained a startling admission.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump acknowledged in the Twitter statement that a meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and two of his top campaign advisers, and a group of Kremlin-linked Russians was set up “to get information on an opponent.” The statement showed Trump confessing in public to, as New Yorker reporter Adam Davidson wrote, “at minimum, a case of attempted collusion.”
“The tweet indicates that Trump’s defense will continue to be that this attempt at collusion failed — ‘it went nowhere’ —and that, even if it had succeeded, it would have been ‘totally legal and done all the time,'” Davidson wrote. But will the “it didn’t work and was legal anyway” defense actually be the line Trump adopts?
A political columnist for the online magazine Salon sees a different possible defense that Trump may use. Trump, says Salon‘s Chauncey DeVega, will portray himself as a patriotic hero for colluding with Russia — because he did it to save America from Hillary Clinton.
“Trump may finally admit that he worked with the Russians to stop Hillary Clinton because she was a ‘threat’ to the American people and the ‘American way of life,'” DeVega speculated. “Donald Trump will hide his behavior, and that of his allies, behind a mask that their goal was pure and patriotic.”
Trump has been signaling that he may attempt to blame Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, for his own collusion with Russia in earlier Twitter statements, DeVega wrote, noting that in other Twitter messages, Trump has denied his own campaign’s collusion with Russia — but accused Democrats of doing what he, himself, is now accused of. In a July 31 Twitter posting, Trump wrote, “Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!”
And on Monday, August 6, Trump on Twitter quoted a commentator on the Fox News program Fox and Friends saying, “Collusion is very real with Russia, but only with Hillary and the Democrats, and we should demand a full investigation.”
In the same quote in a connected Twitter message, he also said that Democratic House Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Adam Schiff was also engaged in “collusion.”
“Collusion with Russia was very real. Hillary Clinton and her team 100% colluded with the Russians, and so did Adam Schiff who is on tape trying to collude with what he thought was Russians to obtain compromising material on DJT. We also know that Hillary Clinton paid through….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
But would a claim by Trump that collusion with Russia to help him win the 2016 presidential election was an act of patriotism actually work? DeVega says yes.
“Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber function as a type of state-sponsored media who help to legitimate most if not all of Trump’s policies and behavior,” DeVega wrote. “Donald Trump is one of the most popular Republican presidents among his own party’s members and supporters in the history of modern public opinion polling. Republican elected officials largely agree with his policies and do his bidding. Republicans, both elites and rank-and-file voters, will not abandon Donald Trump.”