As Donald Trump gets the corporate media to chase him down another rabbit hole, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough delivered an important reminder that nothing will ever vindicate Trump's lie that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
Donald Trump has taken several cracks at obstructing the investigation into his Russia ties by diverting attention in other directions.
First, he insisted that leaks to journalists are the "real" story. Then his White House colluded with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) — who has now been forced to recuse himself from the investigation — to fabricate allegations of improper "unmasking" of Trump associates in intelligence reports. Most recently, Trump slandered former National Security Adviser Susan Rice as a criminal.
The corporate media's response has largely been an assumption that these bogus claims at least partly vindicate Trump's slanderous statement that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough offered a helpful and unequivocal corrective to this framing:
No matter what comes out about unmasking, no matter what comes out about leaking, Donald Trump's tweets about Barack Obama wiretapping Trump Towers was a lie, is a lie, will always be a lie.
The allegations of "unmasking" — providing the names of redacted US citizens in intel reports — are ludicrous on their face, as even Fox News' own security expert, Col. Ralph Peters, pointed out. Even before right-wingers tried to implicate Rice, Peters explained the process, telling Bill O'Reilly that intelligence agencies "take great care not to include the names of U.S. citizens unless they are under some sort of serious investigation" and that "if those names were not blacked out in the transcripts, that tells me that these people were under serious investigation, perhaps part of the FBI investigation."
As Rice explained a few days later, there is nothing improper about asking intelligence agencies to "unmask" identities; however, with no evidence whatsoever of any impropriety, Rice was subjected to a detailed grilling by NBC's Andrea Mitchell, followed by a baseless accusation of criminality by Trump.
Trump's lie began as an attempt to divert attention away from the Russia investigation, which a growing number of Democrats are condemning in increasingly language. House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) twice referred to Trump's latest actions as "obstruction":
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) April 6, 2017
When Donald Trump says that Russia didn't interfere in our election, and Donald Trump says that President Obama wiretapped him, and now when he says that Susan Rice has committed a crime, it's Donald Trump just obstructing the progress we're making in the investigation.
We're not even going to go down that rabbit hole because we know this is just more obstruction.
The cover-up is indeed often worse than the crime. As Scarborough notes, all of Trump's obstruction has been in service of vindicating a lie that can never be vindicated, and it mighty ultimately be Trump's undoing.