President Trump awoke from his hotel-less slumber on Friday to join other world leaders at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Since he’s on European time, his early-morning tweetstorm arrived even earlier than usual (and before his clumsy handshake with Vladimir Putin). His choice of subject matter was also unusual, for Trump bizarrely tweeted about Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesa. According to POTUS, “everyone here is talking” about how Podesta “refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA.” And Trump is appalled.
Hmm. One relevant thing to mention — Podesta recently appeared on Fox News (Trump’s favorite channel) for an interview, in which he stated that it was the DNC’s obligation to deliver the server to the FBI. Podesta further insisted that he met the scope of his responsibility by handing over Clinton’s private servers. And he characterized the FBI’s handling of the situation (at the time) to be positively laid back: “If anything, it’s on the FBI that didn’t come forward and really inform the DNC about what was going on until long after.”
So, Podesta was on Trump’s mind, but Glenn Thrush of the New York Times tidily summed up the falsehoods within Trump’s tweet:
- Mr. Podesta was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman at the time and had no authority to turn over anything, much less someone else’s emails, to the F.B.I. and C.I.A.
- Mr. Podesta — whose own emails were targeted by hackers — fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies.
- The Democratic National Committee, which was leery of the F.B.I. because of its inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server, did deny investigators access to their servers. But it gave the bureau information that later pointed to Moscow’s interference in the election, according to congressional testimony from James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director.
Aside from Trump dropping multiple untruths within one tweet, it’s awfully hard to believe that all of the world leaders at G20 want to discuss … Podesta. Yet everyone knows that Trump is still madly obsessed with an election that was over eight months ago, so it all makes sense in a 2017 way.