We learned that intelligence officials told President Obama and Trump that Russia could have compromising information on the incoming president. There were also communications before the election between the Trump campaign and Russian government intermediaries. Although this information was dug up by a source considered credible, all of this is far from confirmed. The details are still under investigation.
The allegations that a foreign adversary has blackmail material on Trump and could have been colluding with his team, should be shocking. But they are not. Putin is the only person Trump has consistently praised. Trump widely spread Russian-hacked information published by WikiLeaks against Hillary Clintonduring the campaign. The Republican platform was changed to be more favorable toward Russia. Even the tweets of Trump and Russia can sound alike. You don’t have to be part of intelligence to figure that Russia must have something on Donald Trump.
These new revelations lit up the Internet. But it was all soon overshadowed by pee puns. That is because Buzzfeed released an unverified dossier that included details on a tape Russia may have of Trump in a hotel room with prostitutes who, shall I say, have small bladders. Was it appropriate for Buzzfeed to have leaked this? (You see, it’s impossible to avoid the puns even when you try.) Perhaps not. But the Internet jokes were so darn good. I admit, every time I read “steady stream of new info,” I laughed. I am not proud.
I soon heard complaints that we should not be making fun of this urine thing as it is prejudiced against sex workers and those with kinky predilections. Way to be a party pooper. (Oh no, another pun. Forgive me, that was an accident. Oh no, did it again.) Okay, maybe we shouldn’t make fun of this salacious story that could be completely fabricated. But can we still make fun of Trump because he may be a turned Russian agent? We need to have some enjoyment in life.
If all this weren’t enough, the next day, what followed was the wackiest presidential press conference any of us has witnessed. From Trump insisting that the tape could not be true as he’s a “germaphobe,” to his accusing the intelligence community of behaving like Nazis, to his calling CNN “fake news,” it was quite a ride through is-this-really-happening land (Just what he said about CNN was terrible. Yes, sometimes you can call it bad news, but fake news?) It’s thoroughly depressing that the always-classy Obama is being replaced with this.
But there was one thing I realized during that press conference that gave me a rush of joy. It happened when Trump said, “Do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me?” And suddenly, I realized: he is still haunted by Hillary Clinton. It just has to be torturing Trump that he really lost by 2.9 million votes. He knows that he “won” based on this quirky system that allows him to win by less than 80,000 votes in three states. That’s fewer than the number of seats in many football stadiums. That is about 1/40th of the number of people who pulled a lever for a woman rather than him.
He does measure things by who gets the most, much like TV ratings. And in those terms, he is the Arnold Schwarzenegger Celebrity Apprentice and she is his Apprentice, the first season. He knows it. We know it. He can’t unknow it. And that thought makes me feel as fresh and perky as a morning shower. (Okay, last one. I promise.)
Hilary Schwartz is a comedian and writer based in NYC with love (and hate) for politics. She is a regular contributor to Political Storm.