Watching the excuses for Trump evolve over time is fascinating. He didn’t do it. Okay, he did do it, but it’s not illegal. We’ve seen it before many times in many situations. But now Trump, via Rudy Giuliani, appears to be moving the goalposts on the Russian conspiracy story to a new stance: Okay, maybe people in his campaign colluded with Russia, but Trump personally did not.
“You just misstated my position. I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people in the campaign; I have no idea,” Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I said the President of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence that the President of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.”
Giuliani also said, falsely, that Trump himself had never said that his campaign had not colluded with Russia, but only that he himself had not.
“He actually did say that,” Cuomo shot back, referring to Trump’s previous statements on the matter, one of which was a very public assertion on Twitter last year that “the Trump campaign did nothing wrong—no collusion!”
“Well, I never said that,” Giuliani responded…
Giuliani added that he and Trump had no idea that Manafort had shared polling data with Kilimnik until it was inadvertently revealed in a court document filed by Manafort’s lawyers—which Giuliani erroneously referred to as a “leak to a newspaper.”“He did not know about it until it was revealed a few weeks ago in an article,” Giuliani said of Trump.
The story always changes when the old one is shown to be false, sometimes going through five or six different positions in the process. So it seems that Trump and his legal team are now realizing that Mueller’s case for collusion between the campaign and the Putin government is going to be a very compelling one, so they’re preemptively going to their fallback position — okay, so maybe Manafort conspired with Russia to influence the election, but he did so without Trump’s knowledge. You can expect a similar claim to be made for Kushner, Flynn and anyone else who can be tied to the conspiracy.
But what happens if the case against Donald Trump, Jr. is that strong? Does he throw his son under the bus to protect himself? I think he’d do that in a heartbeat. Nothing can ever be Trump’s fault, ever. Hell, he’s the victim of this conspiracy now. You can bet that will be the line. And the fact that it contradicts every other previous excuse and their own past statements won’t matter to his followers. St. Donald the Great can never be to blame for anything.