White House adviser squirms over Trump campaign ad, claims it came from 'outside group'


According to Trump adviser Marc Short, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. is an "outside group." Unfortunately for him, words mean things.

The Trump administration's propensity for denying reality went to a new absurd length Sunday morning, when Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short actually tried to claim that "Donald J. Trump for President, Inc." is an "outside group."

In the wake of a crass and reckless ad sent out Saturday by the campaign — which called Democrats "complicit" in all murders committed by undocumented immigrants — Short took the ludicrous tack of trying to distance the White House from the ad by acting as though Trump's own campaign is basically an unrelated third-party.

Speaking with NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press," Short squirmed under Todd's direct questioning about the appalling ad and the damage such a thing could do as Democrats try to end the Republican-engineered shutdown of the federal government.

"Tell me how that helps negotiations today," Todd demanded after showing the video. "You're calling Democrats accomplices to potential murderers."

"Well, you know that that ad is produced by an outside group, and not those of us in the White House," Short whined.

Todd was incredulous. "Donald J. Trump for President is an 'outside group?'"

"It's not done — it's done from a political organization. It's not done from people working inside the White House," Short continued to ramble.

Short then ran through some statistics about the terror watch list, and leapt from that to "want[ing] to solve the problem of immigration coming in and the threat that it poses to our country."

And in response to Short's statement that this is a "national debate we should be having," Todd smacked down the idea that an ad calling the other side complicit in murder does anything to further that aim.

"But if you want to solve this problem, is that the way to treat opponents, political opponents here?" he asked. "Is that ad helpful to you today?"

Short, like the good flack that he is, insisted that it was indeed helpful.

Republican hardliners against immigration reform refused to even entertain the notion of discussing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in order to reopen the government and go back to actually working for the American people, even after Democrats made it clear they were willing to negotiate.

The GOP has allowed the federal government to go largely dark, putting things like military pay, salaries for many government employees, and access to national landmarks in jeopardy.

The Trump administration has chosen to attack Democrats in the crudest way possible, while Republican leaders offer the meekest condemnation of it. "I don't know if that's necessarily productive," House Speaker Paul Ryan said weakly.

Indeed it's not. But as this whole debacle proves, Republicans have no interest whatsoever in actually being productive.