Byron York has tweeted an intriguing list of theories seeking to explain why President Trump has appeared so reluctant to acknowledge Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner and Fox News contributor explained some of his theories may be “more plausible than others” — while some, indeed, appear to be tongue-in-cheek jabs at the presidents critics.
Under tremendous political pressure to amend his remarks after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Trump clarified on Tuesday that “I accept our intelligence communitys conclusion that Russias meddling in the 2016 election took place.” “But,” he added, “there was no collusion.”
And that key distinction appears to be behind some of the top theories in Yorks list.
Tuesday evening, York tweeted:
“Twelve theories, some more plausible than others, on why Trump does not accept Intelligence Community verdict on Russian election interference:
1) He really doesnt believe it.
2) He cant admit anything that casts doubt on his victory.
3) He thinks its an Obama plot.”
Judging by an Op-Ed piece York had written earlier in the day, his second
tweet in the series contained more of what he might consider the “more plausible”
4) He doesnt want to give even an inch to his adversaries.
5) He really wants to improve relations with Russia.
6) He believes Sen. Charles “Six ways from Sunday” Schumer, suspects elements of IC are out to get him.”
Yorks third and final tweet in the series appeared to be more sarcastic, although the presidents critics might agree with some of them:7) He really did collude.
8) Hes been a Russian asset since the 1980s.
9) Putin has something on him.
10) Hes just messing with the political class.
11) He enjoys media freakout.
12) He was paying attention during the Iraq War.”
In an Op-Ed piece headlined, “Why Trump doesnt admit Russian election interference” and published before his tweets on Tuesday, York detailed his reasoning. He wrote that “Trump would not give a simple, straightforward answer” as to whether he believed the U.S. intelligence agencies who determined Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election because of “the peculiar nature of the Russia investigation, and the peculiar nature of Donald Trump.”
The reporter maintained that Trump has “always refused, or been unable,” to distinguish between the “two parts to the Trump-Russia probe: the what-Russia-did part, which is the investigation into Russias actions during the campaign, and the get-Trump part, which is the effort to use the investigation to remove him from office.”
York concluded: “The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia made an effort to
disrupt the election — his adversaries, who want to discredit his election, undermine him, and force him from office, will take a mile on the get-Trump part. Thats consistent with how Trump approaches other problems; he doesnt admit anything, because he knows his adversaries will never be satisfied and just demand more.”
The frequent Fox guest then advised the president: “Trump could simply have said: I believe the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Intelligence Community. I believe the verdict of U.S. agencies. Russia did it. Weve retaliated and well do more.
But my adversaries at home have turned this into a politically motivated crusade to cripple the president of the United States, and its time to stop it. Now, lets talk about issues that are vital for the future of America and the world.”