Today the New York Times reported that, when asked if he thought Susan Rice had committed a crime, Donald Trump said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”
This week it was revealed that Rice, who was ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser under President Obama, requested the “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials whose communications were incidentally collected in intelligence surveillance. Rice insisted in an interview that this was not for “political purposes,” and also made clear that “there is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.” One is legal, the other not so much.
Trump, however, insisted to the Times that this was the “biggest story” of our time. He failed to put forward any actual evidence to back up his claim that Rice had committed a crime, only stating that he would explain himself “at the right time.” This is peak Trump—a telling interview with Time last month revealed that the president believes that his speculations and predictions are truth even without any proof. If even quasi-corroborating evidence comes out later, Trump will use it to show that he was right all along. Remember, the whole Susan Rice thing is a way for Trump to justify his thoroughly debunked assertion that Obama had “wiretapped” him.
At the same time, Trump also felt the need to defend Bill O’Reilly, who came under fire this week when it was revealed that he had settled five sexual harassment lawsuits during his time at Fox News. Trump told the Times, “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” and “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” The fact that this is coming from Trump, himself accused of sexual harassment, is not exactly a great commendation. But it is especially grim when you consider that Trump recently proclaimed April to be Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯