Trump’s OJ-Style Confession
Addressing the plea deal declaration by his longtime legal fixer, Michael Cohen, that the hush money payments he arranged for Trump’s random sex partners were made at Trump’s personal direction, Donald Trump has sent out his personal legal representative du jour, Rudy “I’ll-do-anything-to-stay-relevant” Giuliani, to call Cohen a liar, and claim, absurdly, that Cohen’s earlier statements covering for Trump, while he was Trump’s paid lackey and before he “flipped,” can be taken as proof that his plea declarations are lies.
Trump himself, meanwhile, has inadvisably gone offline — that is, off Twitter — to express himself in speech, i.e., without the useful content filter of having to wait until his thumb can get to the “Post” button before revealing one of his brain enemas to the world.
Here, via Patterico, is a cute sample of what he said in an interview:
This whole thing about flipping, they call it. I know all about flipping, for 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything is wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed. It’s not fair, because if somebody going to spend five years like Michael Cohen or 10 of 15 years in jail because of a taxicab deal, because he defrauded some bank. Campaign violations are considered not a big deal, frankly. But if somebody defrauded a bank and he is going to get 10 years in jail or 20 years in jail but if you can say something bad about Donald Trump and you will go down to two years or three years, which is the deal he made, in all fairness to him, most people are going to do that. And I have seen it many times. I have had many friends involved in this stuff. It’s called flipping and it almost ought to be illegal. You get 10 years in jail. But if you say bad things about somebody, in other words make up stories, they just make up lies…They make up things and now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero. They have a statue erected in their honor. It’s not a fair thing. [Emphasis added.]
Oh, “they just make up lies” and “now they go from 10 years to they’re a national hero.” Really? Is that what “they” do? You’ve “seen it many times”? For example?
And as Patterico points out, Trump’s entire rant is based on a false premise, namely that Cohen “got a deal to testify. Which he didn’t. But since when do things like facts get in the way of Donald Trump word salads?”
But my favorite part of this rant is the sentence I’ve highlighted: “Campaign violations are considered not a big deal, frankly.”
Considered “not a big deal” by whom?
What he is saying here, in effect, is “Cohen’s claim is a lie, but even if it’s not a lie, it’s only about a campaign violation, which is not considered a big deal, frankly — not that I’ve committed any such violation, but even if I had, it wouldn’t be all that serious so people shouldn’t make too much of it, compared to, say, bank fraud, which no one has accused me of doing and which really is a big deal crime, whereas campaign law violations, which of course I’m not saying I have done, are not considered serious at all.”
Analogy: “The charge that I stole the lady’s purse is a lie — but anyway purse-snatching is not such a big deal.”
Okay. When OJ Simpson wrote a book titled If I Did It, everyone knew what it meant. This rant is Trump’s version of that. And naturally, as is all too often the case, Trump’s cynicism is partly true. Campaign violations really are “considered not a big deal” — by his fans, but also by an American society at large that has been inured to the default assumption of corruption from politics and politicians. Thanks to decades of ubiquitous corruption, everybody has come to feel that “they all cheat,” which indeed makes each particular instance seem unimportant. Not that it is unimportant; but once people accept the premise that dishonesty, illegality, and favor-buying are the essence of American electoral politics, then it becomes true in practice that what Trump is alleged to have done, and what he has now almost admitted to having done, seems less serious.
In other words, he looks like just another swamp creature. And that’s his defense. And that’s what his sycophants and cultists will be saying today in his defense. Surprise.