During a meeting of the United Nations Security Council Wednesday morning, Donald Trump blundered in an unexpected way: he dishonestly accused China, which is a fellow member of the Security Council, of interfering with American elections.
“…China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election – coming up in November – against my administration.
“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade, and we are winning on trade – we are winning at every level. We don’t want to them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election.”
If you decide to watch the clip, you will notice that Trump was carefully reading off a prepared text, although a few of the more awkward and dumb phrases were ad-libbed by our stable genius president.
As Trump left the building, a reporter asked him if he could cite any evidence to back up the allegation. He didn’t really answer, because there is no evidence, simply saying that there’s “plenty of evidence,” (Which he doesn’t cite! Gah!) adding, in reference to the government officials in China, “They would like to see me not win.”
Of course, talk of a powerful foreign rival “attempting to interfere” with American elections reminds us all of Russian attacks in 2016, which put Donald Trump in power.
But that is probably not what President Trump was talking about. The Republican somehow sees a difference between direct election interference as opposed to indirect election interference.
Basically, direct election interference is something like the sophisticated intelligence operation plotted by Moscow that targeted the U.S. ahead of the 2016 presidential race. That’s probably not what Donald Trump was accusing China of doing..
Rather, the ignorant American president is looking at this issue with a trade-specific view. Follow this train of thought: President Trump started a trade war, imposing unreasonable tariffs on China, which has caused a series of retaliatory tariffs coming from Beijing. A lot of China’s tariffs have targeted American agricultural products.
And that’s where Trump’s theory comes in. As he sees it, the Chinese tariffs hurt American farmers, and because rural areas are usually conservative, the trade policy will make a lot of Republican voters very angry at Donald Trump. We can only hope that this anger translates into something meaningful, which is voting against Republicans, and therefore voting for Trump to have less power to ruin their livelihood.
Of course, Russian’s interference in Trump’s election was massive, illegal, and the Trump campaign’s cooperation with it was treasonous, but I don’t think Donald Trump will be bringing up that terrible truth.