Trump Is Playing a Dangerous Game With Assange Tweets

President-elect Trump quoted Julian Assange twice in the last hour on Twitter.

Besides giving a shout-out to his friend Sean Hannity, notice how Trump is being very careful in how he words these tweets.

“It’s very dishonest,” is the quote from Assange, with Trump adding “More dishonest than anyone knows.” Apparently, Assange knows, right? And Trump knows too. He’s claiming special shared knowledge with an enemy of the United States, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid facing rape charges in Sweden.

Trump was very careful only to agree with Assange on the media. The first tweet simply raises doubts without agreeing. There’s a nugget of actual truth in that tweet about Podesta: “a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta.” The phishing attack that yielded Podesta’s gmail password was a shocking and stupid lapse of even basic security in the Clinton campaign. Evidence shows that this attack could have been carried out by a teenager, a “script kiddie” (novice-level) attack.

But there’s zero proof that the Russians did not do either attack, and plenty of reasons to believe they did. Believing Julian Assange on his own word is a feckless blunder. Trump knows better than this. His carefully-worded tweets shows that he knows better, because he left himself plenty of room to walk back any inference that he believes Assange.

I believe when Trump next talks to the press (currently that’s Jan. 11th, if he doesn’t cancel again) he will repudiate any assumption that Assange is somehow a friend or to be believed. Trump will point to the fact that he’s been saying the media is dishonest for years, and that he just happened to agree with Assange on that one point.

It’s a dangerous game. Assange is dangerous, hates America, and is willing to work with our enemies, lie, and cost American lives in the process.

Presidents do not have to be fans of the intelligence community. In fact, it’s a good thing to have a president who is skeptical of the intelligence product he gets from the “community.” They have a tendency to groupthink, value process over content, and ignore signs that they are following confirmation bias to please the boss.

Trump needs to be careful that he doesn’t cross a line in being so skeptical of our intelligence community that he compromises their ability to serve him and our nation. As President-elect, with his continual embrace of Russia, Wikileaks, and Julian Assange, Trump is right up against that line. After Jan. 20th, tweets like today’s will be very much over the line.

American of all political stripes cannot and should not tolerate a president who sides with our enemies, even if he wears the right team colors.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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