President Donald Trump is facing denunciations across the board after his supplicatory meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and even the spin coming from White House officials puts Trump in a terrible light.
Officials speaking off the record with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan tried to cast Trump's refusal to condemn Russian aggression or stand up to Putin's interference in the 2016 election as incompetence, rather than malicious and treacherous alignment with the foreign authoritarian.
"A number of people who’ve discussed election meddling with Trump, including current senior administration officials, say his brain can’t process that collusion and cyberattacks are two different things," Swan wrote. "Trump seems constitutionally incapable of taking anything Mueller finds seriously."
"The White House spin is that there's something constitutionally wrong with the president," tweeted Vox politics editor Laura McGann of the report.
On this account of events, Trump isn't necessarily covering up for Russia's crimes; rather, he's simply unable to comprehend them. While this is hardly a comforting picture, it's important to remember that even this narrative itself may be a self-serving account given by people who derive power from the Trump administration.
Swan also notes that several of the officials he's spoken to are not "proud" to work for Trump, but they are not prepared to resign.
"If the best defense that the aides closest to Trump can come up with for his open support for Putin as Putin stood their and lied is that he's delusional, they must either be delusional themselves or believe that we are delusional enough to buy it," McGann wrote.
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