At certain moments it seems as if President Donald Trump doesn't need all those terrible disgusting enemies when he has himself.
Here he was on television with the most hospitable of possible hosts, Fox's Jeanine Pirro. "I’m going to ask you," she said. "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"
Wow, that's easy. The first thing anyone would expect him or anyone in his position to say to that massive, high-hanging matzoh ball is "No," or "No of course not," or "No, even the notion is preposterous."
If Trump said "No" and it proves true — which one can only presume — then good for him and good for America. All anyone had said otherwise was that law enforcers had suspicions to the contrary. If his denial were a lie, well, why not go with it anyway, since his falsehood count already is off the charts. Let the "enemies" prove him false.
Trump was so revved up about getting to attack critics and accusers that perhaps he forgot to say "No." He called the question "the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked." On he went about other people trying to do bad things to him because they are bad or corrupt or dishonest and so on.
But during the interview, he condemned the news stories about the suspicions and failed to answer if he worked for Russia. And he answered "No" in subsequent interviews, but by then, fully accurate headlines stated: "Asked whether he’s worked for Russia, Trump doesn’t answer directly."
That happened because he failed to give a simple truthful answer to a simple question, leaving any skeptic in the audience to wonder. Pirro could have helped him by asking again. Why didn't she?
We've known for a long time that the current president is willing to blast just about anyone except Vladimir Putin. Maybe he sees no reason to attack the Russian president. Fine. But does it then get him anywhere to attack all the others? Or, why call strongmen like China's President Xi Jinping more honorable than citizens such as Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, even if he doesn't like them?
To be totally uncynical: It all seems very strange.
Fencing at the southern U.S. border has been built before and common sense tells you it will be expanded again at some point. If Trump truly believed it is a solution, he wouldn't need to inflate its importance or urgency by keeping government agencies shut down or telling stories without evidence of women "tied with electrical tape" being trafficked over the border.
"They just make a left into the United States," he said, "and they come in and they have women tied up, they have tape over their mouths, electrical tape, usually blue tape as they call it. It’s powerful stuff. Not good. And they have three, four, five of them in vans or three of them in back seats of cars and they just drive right in.”
If he shared some shred of proof, it would sure help his case with the public, not hurt it. But everyone's still waiting for that. All we can say for sure is that maybe he has backup, maybe he doesn't. If so, why not come out with it?
"Oh, you'll just never give him credit," his faithful followers complain. But either the abduction scenario is accurate or it is not. Trump is the one making the claim and needs to support it. That's how this works, just about everywhere. How hard is it to answer a question plainly and back up what you say?