Of course, there’s nothing surprising about pundits under the influence of the president attacking U.S. intelligence agencies while minimizing the threat from Russia. As a candidate and in office, Trump has denounced and ridiculed the FBI and CIA, while putting more stock in Putin’s protestations of innocence than he placed in the work of American analysts.
But what struck me like the Shiloh field suddenly teeming with startled wildlife was this language of setups and entrapment because, where I come from, only guilty people trot out the I-was-stung defense. Indeed, the most infamous use of this jargon in Washington — the late Marion Barry’s “Bitch set me up!” — followed the mayor’s dismayed realization that his crack-smoking had been caught on hidden camera.
How many times have we heard from the president and his defenders that the Mueller investigation is “a witch hunt,” that “there’s nothing there” and it’s time to shut it down? As the inquiry enters its second year, Trump’s forces now appear to be falling back to a new trench. Whatever Team Trump did wrong, the FBI tricked them into doing it.