File this one away under “Donald Trump discredits everyone in his orbit.” McConnell, doing damage control for Trump after the GOP presidential nominee threatened to abandon NATO allies, “chalk[ed] it up to a rookie mistake”—a degree of generosity he would obviously never show a Democratic presidential nominee. But the worst part about it is how McConnell explained his blasé attitude. “I think he’s wrong on that,” McConnell said. “I don’t think that view would be prevalent or held by anybody he might make secretary of state or secretary of defense.”
McConnell isn’t the first Republican to rationalize supporting Trump under the theory that Trump can be contained. But think about what this implies in an extreme scenario: Russia invades a NATO member state, Trump is inclined to abrogate the treaty, and the secretary of defense, what, mobilizes the military without the president’s approval? Here’s the Senate majority leader, the second-most powerful Republican in the country, shrugging off the tail risk of a Trump presidency, because if the going gets tough, the secretary of defense might just override Trump’s command and control of the military.
This is utterly disqualifying stuff. The underlying decision to support Trump is enough to taint any politician, but when politicians are forced to justify the decision, the magnitude of the disgrace becomes clear.