Multiple intelligence agencies and at least one congressional investigation found that President Donald Trump's claims that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower were utterly false. Yet he still brings it up.
In an interview with CBS journalist John Dickerson on Monday, Trump made the odd choice to revisit his lie, and then abruptly ended the interview when pressed on it. It's a little like watching a bratty, hormonal teenager pick an unnecessary fight, but it's the president of the United States.
When Dickerson asked Trump if Obama had given him any advice, the president immediately proceeded to set his stage.
"He was very nice to me, but after that, we’ve had some difficulties. So it doesn’t matter. You know, words are less important to me than deeds, and you saw what happened with surveillance,” he said, presenting Dickerson with what any journalist would see as an opportunity to get to the bottom of an unresolved story.
Of course, Dickerson began to press Trump on whether or not he still stood by his wiretapping lies.
“You can figure that out yourself,” Trump evaded without art.
“I don’t stand by anything,” he added. “You can take it the way you want. I think our side has been proven very strongly, and everybody has been talking about it.”
However, Dickerson continued to question Trump, insisting that his opinion as president was important.
“I just wanted to find out though," he explained. “You’re the president of the United States. You said he was 'sick and bad' because he had tapped you.”
Things eventually escalated to the moment when Trump huffily ended the interview, escaping back to his desk with all the airs of someone who had just experienced a great indignity.
“OK, it’s enough," he snapped. "Thank you. Thank you very much."
Not one for facing the music, Trump has walked out of interviews early before. This one was particularly cowardly because it looked a lot like a pathetic set up by Trump, conscious or not. He laid the foundation for a confrontation, and then he proceeded to play the victim. It's the kind of juvenile mind game we shouldn't be surprised by anymore, but it's hair-raising to see it play out amidst the surroundings of the Oval Office.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters