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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

The president calls it 'dumb' to believe he said something wrong

So far we have only this much to the Washington "whistleblower" story:

An intelligence official took the unusual step of complaining internally that President Donald Trump gave an unnamed foreign leader a troubling promise of some kind.

Public details are awaited.

Early Thursday, the president noted on Twitter that people on both sides do listen in on his phone calls with foreign dignitaries. He said: “Is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call?”

Well … Some of us will admit to being dumb enough to believe it's not that crazy, given the president's habit of blurting stuff out in public and private.

On May 10, 2017, he discussed classified information, apparently provided by Israel, about a planned Islamic State operation. This came in an Oval Office meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Trump also boasted to Russians: “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” This was quoted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.

Once a famous feeder of tabloid gossip, Trump today remains far from a model of smooth discretion.

On Thursday the Associated Press reported from Texas on a photo op at the border regarding wall construction.

When Trump asked Army Corps Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite to explain how technology embedded in the barrier alerts agents to illegal activity, he was told: "Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it."

"OK I like that. That was a great answer," Trump said. "I'll just tell you, they're wired, OK?" Then the president talked about how it would be equipped to deal with drones and cameras.

Which brings up other questions Trump might wish to ask:

“Is anybody dumb enough to think I would so ardently refuse to release my taxes that it raises suspicion about what’s in them?”

“Is anybody dumb enough to believe I would try to influence an authorized investigation into my campaign by sending a secret message to my Attorney General through a private party, which by all accounts didn’t even get delivered?”

“Is anybody dumb enough to believe I would deny saying something I said only recently in the White House to reporters about meeting with Iran without conditions, a remark that is readily available on videotape?”

“Is anybody dumb enough to believe I would use charity funds for political purposes or settle a fake-university case for $25 million after saying I don’t settle lawsuits?”

“Is anybody dumb enough to believe I’d say Mariano Rivera’s major-league debut was in 1955, or cite the Biblical book ‘Two Corinthians’, or alter a weather map with a marking pen to make a useless point?”

While we're at it, Trump might wish to answer this question:

Is anyone dumb enough to believe an intel officer would take the risky step of challenging the actions of the president if he or she didn't think there were justifiable reasons for doing so? 

The answer will be interesting.


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