At least one Trump fan on Twitter is convinced, naturally, that this “accident” is just a clever ruse designed to force Politico to write about Whitewater. That makes sense, no? The candidate with the biggest mass-media presence in American history, whose rallies are routinely televised live on cable news, who regularly phones in to chat shows and dictates the conversation, decided that the way to inject Whitewater into political coverage was to make his spokesman look like a moron with a needless e-mail “oopsie.” He’s playing 18-dimensional chess.
If you’ve convinced yourself that Trump is a national savior, though, I guess you have to believe that there’s no such things as mistakes. What appears to the slow-witted as error is actually a genius at work, like that time he apparently pretended to be his own spokesman to talk up how many hot chicks he was dating. Trump doesn’t err. If you think he does, well, that just proves you’re still a step behind.
Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo on Wednesday morning emailed a researcher at the Republican National Committee asking him to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible. This is for immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process.”
The email was obtained by POLITICO when Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who Caputo copied on his request to the RNC, accidentally responded instead to Marc Caputo, a POLITICO reporter who is not related to the Republican consultant…
Hicks, in her errant email, attempted to warn Michael Caputo, not to directly contact the RNC researcher, Michael Abboud, with research requests. But Hicks’ email suggested the researcher may soon be joining the campaign team, which has mostly lacked a robust in-house research operation.
Whitewater is one of those scandals that everyone (over the age of 40) has heard of but virtually no one can concisely explain. The details are unimportant for political purposes, though. If you don’t like the Clintons, it’s sufficient to know that Whitewater is Exhibit 5,284 in the case that they’re hopelessly, ineffably shady. Trump himself summarized the value of Whitewater well in his interview with WaPo a few days ago. “It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince [Foster] or whether it’s Benghazi,” he said. “It’s always a mess with Hillary,” That could be his campaign slogan this fall — it’s always a mess with Hillary. Younger voters who are already leery of her may not realize that there are more reasons to be leery than they’re aware of. Older voters who regard Whitewater as old news might nonetheless be influenced by the sheer cumulative weight of all the questions about improper behavior that she’s been hit with over the past 25 years. Who wants four years more? A real-estate scandal is less eye-grabbing than attacks with the words “Bill Clinton” and “rape” in them but it’s all kindling. For anyone who hasn’t yet made up their mind about her, the conclusion from Trump’s kitchen-sink approach is, “If there’s this much smoke, there must be a fire somewhere.”
And of course, veteran Clinton-haters are pretty excited about it.
Anyway. If you want to use e-mail subterfuge to tempt reporters into writing about what you want, this is the way to do it:
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) May 25, 2016
American Bridge is a lefty outfit that’s having fun with Politico’s latest story about Corey Lewandowski and Paul Manafort allegedly trying to ruin each other in a war of leaks, backbiting, and dirty tricks. (Sam Nunberg, an ally of Manafort and Roger Stone who was fired from the campaign last year when Lewandowski assumed control, actually went on record to say, “Donald loves to fire people. Why can’t he just say it to Corey?” Oof.) That sort of nasty infighting between top staffers could have been a big problem for a national campaign that’s struggling to get organized. Good thing the RNC’s effectively running Trump’s campaign now.
Via BuzzFeed, here’s audio of Juanita Broaddrick sounding surprised yet gratified that her words showed up in Trump’s new attack ad against Bill Clinton. After years of having the media give short shrift to her rape accusation, finally they can’t ignore it. I think that’s a stronger line of attack for Trump than Whitewater, but like I say, it’s all part of a picture. A sleazy, sleazy picture.