Border wall speech: Or obfuscation?

donald trumpA funny thing happened on the way to President Trump delivering his beeg, important Oval Office address on the need for a border wall: that wasn’t really about a border wall.

What the president was doing tonight, and really, for the past couple of days, was drawing our attention away from:

  • The Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to intervene in a subpoena fight involving an unidentified foreign government-owned company and special counsel Robert Mueller. The company had asked the high court to block a contempt order and $50,000-a-day penalty for refusing to comply with the subpoena, arguing that the company is immune from U.S. grand jury subpoenas. We literally know nothing else about this case, except that it involves Mueller, and he ain’t interested in Bangladesh, if you know what I’m saying there.
  • Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort accidentally revealed in a court filing Tuesday that Mueller’s team has alleged their client lied about sharing polling data with a Russian operative. The alleged spy, Konstantin Kilimnik, is a former business associate of Manafort who is criminally charged with working with him to try to tamper with potential witnesses against Manafort before his scheduled federal criminal trials last summer. “Americans”-level stuff here.
  • Democrats leading seven House committees are calling on the Trump administration to delay its decision to ease sanctions on businesses linked to a prominent Russian oligarch. The seven chairmen requested on Tuesday that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin brief lawmakers about the decision to terminate sanctions against three companies tied to Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire aluminum magnate with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. You won’t be surprised that Deripaska has close ties to Manafort.

The circle is tightening on Team Trump, and today featured several significant developments. But we’re not talking about those developments right now, and haven’t been talking about them the past couple of days, eagerly awaiting their release.

Because, instead, we’ve been talking about the president’s intent to create a border crisis out of the thin air.

Odd that we’re not even talking about how his shutdown is about to throw the economy, already teetering from his plain dumb trade war with China, full-force into recession.

Border crisis. Foreign hordes. Drugs. People slaughtered for sport.

That speech wasn’t about convincing people on the fence, or on the other side, of the merits of his position.

It was a pair of middle fingers from a would-be despot.

Column by Chris Graham

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