Donald Trump is undermining American political institutions in an incredibly troubling way. This past weekend, he claimed that President Obama ordered the phones in Trump Tower in NYC to be tapped in an attempt to find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
President Obama’s spokesperson has denied this claim. Importantly, however, this outcry by the Trump administration is a tactic to distract and deflect press attention in the wake of intelligence community investigations into the Trump campaign’s growing number of representatives who have been found to have contact with Russian officials.
Six of Trump’s campaign officials either met with the Russian Ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, or were found to have business connections in Russia. For those counting at home, that’s Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, and JD Gordon.
It is unsettling, to say the least, that a man with such a large scope of power and the ability to drive the news cycle is intentionally acting to confuse the public and weaken faith in the government. Trump is also reverting back to an old strategy of his: lying about President Obama in order to gain political power and attention.
After it was revealed this week that the Attorney General lied to Congress under oath, Trump is not doing much more to restore confidence his administration.
I am uncertain if Trump’s presidency will maintain or destroy American political institutions at home and abroad. The American government is powerful and self-sustaining; it remains to be seen, however, if it can withstand Trump’s boorish governing tactics and penchant for deflection.
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