Trump Tries to Take Focus Off Russia by Attacking NFL, But Nobody is Buying it This Time
The Trump/Putin story won't go away anytime soon because we still don't know what the two leaders discussed except for the news coming daily from Moscow regarding their discussions. By not outlining their agreements, if there were any, the White House is allowing Putin to control the narrative and its quite unflattering to our President. Except for Trump's most enthusiastic supporters, the public is left to wonder whether he is a tool of Russia or just dangerously incompetent. And things just got worse after the President offered his widely ridiculed "double negative" defense, and back-tracked on sending a US diplomat to Moscow for interrogation after the Senate voted 98-0 in opposition.
So, yesterday Trump tried to get back on track by suggesting season-long suspensions for NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem. The issue always plays well among the alt-right segment of his base who understand that it's an attack on Black Lives Matter activists. In the past such distractions have worked for the President when policy issues weren't going his way. This time, however, the story is that things are so bad in the White House that Trump desperately needs to change the conversation. Even NBC's NFL blog suspected it was "a welcome distraction to a week’s worth of not-so-flattering stories." Moreover, it's such an obvious and cynical ploy to rally his base that it's cringe-worthy and a bit pitiable.
So, one is left wondering if this time is different; is the Russia story the one that lingers and causes permanent damage to the President, even with his base?
Photo credit: Keith Allison, no changes