Here’s a riddle for you: more than a year into his presidency, why has Donald Trump continued to treat Russia with the sort of respect and deference that U.S. allies, Barack Obama, kneeling N.F.L. players, the mayor of San Juan, Mika Brzezinski, CNN, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, The New York Times, NAFTA, sanctuary cities, and a large segment of the American public can only dream of? Since taking office 15 months ago, the president of the United States has leaked information about a classified Israeli intelligence operation to two Russian envoys; hesitated to blame the Kremlin for [the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy; exploded with rage when he found out the U.S. had expelled more Russian diplomats than European countries following the incident; congratulated Vladimir Putin on a totally unexpected election victory against the wishes of senior officials; and assured Russian officials that plans for sanctions announced by U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley — in response to the Kremlin’s support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose actions have been likened by Trump to those of an “animal” — were never gonna happen. In attempting to crack the case of the Eastern European country’s strange grip on its little American babushka doll, some have pointed to Trump’s business interests, while others have chalked it up to the current president’s well-documented obsession with oligarchs. Yet others have consistently come back to the idea that Russia has something on the president that he doesn’t want to get out. Could it be, say, video evidence that he witnessed Russian prostitutes peeing in a bed once slept in by his predecessor? Reason and logic tells us this cannot be possible … and yet, on Monday, a new report nudged the impossible a hair closer in the direction of credibility!

According to Bloomberg, the story that Trump told former F.B.I. director James Comey, first in Trump Tower in December 2016, and then again during an unexpectedly intimate dinner at the White House, re: why allegations about a tape could not be possible, is a total fabrication. In Trump’s telling, a tape of him orchestrating a golden shower in Moscow in some sort of attempt to get back at the object of his obsession could not possibly exist because he did not spend the night in question at the hotel. While he concedes to being there for the Miss Universe pageant on Saturday, November 9, 2013, he told Comey that he arrived in the morning, “did events, then showered and dressed for the pageant at the hotel … [and] returned only to get his things because [he] departed for New York by plane that same night.” But according to flight records obtained by Bloomberg, Trump arrived in Moscow Friday morning and didn’t leave until early Sunday morning, November 10, throwing his there wouldn’t have been time for a golden shower even if I’d wanted one! defense into question. Also throwing things into question? His apparent obsession with the tape, which he was seemingly desperate for Comey to investigate just to prove it didn’t exist. You know, for Melania’s sake.


Source: Bess Levin,