Current news about the infamous Trump Tower conference highlights the strangeness of politics in the Trump age. In June 2016, 3 top Trump advisors– Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort– consulted with a Kremlin-connected Russian legal representative. Prior to the conference, Trump Jr. found out that the lawyer would provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton; “I like it,” Tuesday, he tweeted: “Crooked Hillary Clinton’s leading aid [sic], Huma Abedin, has actually been accused of overlooking basic security protocols.” Recall to 1989. If we at RNC had actually continued to assault Michael Dukakis and his staff more than a year after his defeat, the political world would have believed that we had actually gone barking mad.The weirdness does not stop there. Trump foreign policy consultant Carter Page went to Russia to talk with government authorities, and reported back to the campaign. George Papadopoulos, another consultant, went to London and blurted out to an Australian diplomat that the Russians had political intelligence that might harm Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos, who has because pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now a working together witness, was reportedly in touch with high-level campaign authorities. He sat with Trump and then-Senator Jeff Sessions in a now-famous picture of a foreign-policy advisory group.
When Page and Papadopoulos started appearing in the media, Trump protectors dismissed them as “low-level” people. Speaking as a previous low-level man, I can attest that this description does not fit them. People like me did not go to unique places, nor did we have huge conferences with the big shots. My face time with Bush consisted entirely of one grab-and-grin picture at a project picnic. The RNC chair never discovered my name, addressing me as “Hey, buddy.”
At party headquarters, we got the New York papers, which typically brought stories of Trump’s outrageous love life. The idea of Trump in the White Home seemed outrageous– and in fact was a Defying the Odds: The 2016 Elections and American Politics.