Donald Trump is trying his hardest to distract us and we must not let him

Kompromat or no Kompromat - Comrades, don't let Donald Trump distract us from the truth

Rachael Revesz
New York
Wednesday 11 January 2017 19:57 GMT
Mr Trump walks among the throng of reporters at onlookers at Trump Tower
Mr Trump walks among the throng of reporters at onlookers at Trump Tower (Getty)

With a mass of news headlines about Russia, intelligence agencies and a dossier full of compromising information about the President-elect, it may be tempting to zero in on the part about his alleged "perverted sexual acts", let Donald Trump deny it all and forget about it. But don’t fall for that trap. Trump will win if we ignore the larger issues.

It would be easy to get distracted; after all we have done it so many times before. When Trump paid $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit for fraud over his now defunct Trump University, he simply sent a tweet condemning the cast of a Broadway musical for publicly embarrassing his vice president-elect Mike Pence. The incredible fact that the President-elect was sued for fraud has quietly sunk into the murky depths.

Pam Bondi, the Republican Florida attorney general, who he allegedly bribed in return to not prosecute him over Trump University, is now speculated to become part of his government team. No one is really talking about that either.

While new details emerge about Russia and his ties with the Kremlin, Trump is tweeting about the Apprentice, Meryl Streep and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"[During and after the campaign] Trump had about 200 scandals, Hillary Clinton had two - the emails and the Clinton Foundation," said Mark Smith, professor of political science at the University of Washington.

"The point is they were the only two that media focused on, but they came back to them again and again, and because Trump had so many [scandals], none of them got much traction."

Trump is distracting us right now with a week of absolute frenzy: confirmation hearings of civil rights abusers, oil and banking tycoons one after the other, and his first press conference in six months. Few people are questioning why we are so keen to hear him speak, as opposed to questioning his silence of half a year.

Donald Trump says unverified claims are blot on intelligence agencies

"He has discovered as an active candidate that [twitter] can be a powerful vehicle for substituting his own thought for what might be a more serious and damaging line of media inquiry," said Thomas Mann, senior fellow at Brookings and resident scholar at the University of Berkeley.

"It’s perfectly compatible with his psyche: the man does not take criticism well and the best way to deal with it is to attack whoever criticised him."

Trump is not communicating openly and regularly with the public, and he is instituting a cabinet line-up of which the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany would certainly be proud. With every fresh wave of indignation against the President-elect, Trump can send one tweet, let us vultures scrabble around in the dust to decipher his 140 characters, and he can sail up the elevator to the gilded apartment in Trump Tower.

Well, Comrades - let us not be distracted by more knee-jerk reaction tweets.

What would prove to be very concerning, if verified, however, is his alleged and longstanding ties to the Kremlin. The dossier certainly proved troubling enough for senator John McCain to hand it over to the FBI.

And, don’t forget: even amid controversy about Russia, there is a silver lining here for Trump. He has still not released his tax returns. But who is talking about that now?

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