There’s a widespread idea that the press takes President Trump literally, but not seriously, while his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.
Whatever stock you put in that claim, it’s clear that Trump’s critics take him literally whenever it’s helpful to do so. Case in point: the press and the Clinton campaign hearing Trump joke at a rally that maybe the Russians could track down Hillary’s 33,000 missing emails, and then accusing Trump of asking “an adversarial foreign power to cyberspy” on his opponent.
President Trump spoke Thursday afternoon at a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and was asked about accusations that his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
He answered with what is clearly a lie:
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) May 18, 2017
Trump: "Even my enemies have said there is no collusion." Um…..
— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) May 18, 2017
"Even my enemies have said, there is no collusion." Nope.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 18, 2017
Trump just falsely claimed that "even my enemies have said there's no collusion"
That is 100% wrong.
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) May 18, 2017
One-hundred-percent wrong? Instant fact-check: true. That’s about all Trump’s enemies say, even if you ask them for the time.
We’ll go out on a limb and guess that what Trump meant was that even his political enemies have admitted they haven’t found evidence that his campaign worked with the Russians, and that’s pretty much the case. Even Rep. Maxine Waters, who talks publicly about little but Trump’s impeachment, admitted last week she has no evidence to back up claims of collusion.
There was also speculation that Trump using the “e” word would only strengthen the parallels between him and Nixon.
Trump's use of the word "enemies" not gonna do much to tamp down Nixon comparisons.
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) May 18, 2017
That’s also true; but we’d advise journalists not to make too big a deal out of it, unless they showed similar concern when Clinton named Republicans the enemies she was most proud to have made, or when Barack Obama talked to Univision about Latinos voting to “punish our enemies.”
@maggieNYT "Enemies". I can't imagine Obama ever calling political opponents (American citizens) "enemies".
— SandraMaz (@SandraMaz) May 18, 2017
Again, no need to imagine, unless asking supporters to get in their neighbors’ faces was just a suggestion to spend quality time together.
Of course, with his line, Trump managed to tee up plenty of expected responses from those eager to be known as his enemies. Take Keith Olbermann … please.
Trump: "even my enemies have said there is no collusion."
Hey, Bro? I'm your enemy.
There is collusion.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 18, 2017
Every super villain like Trump has to have a super hero to fight, but Olbermann, wrapped in his American flag cape, isn’t fighting alone.
@KeithOlbermann And I am his enemy as well
— BirdLady (@elyboybird) May 18, 2017
— Nancy (@nancyvwinston) May 18, 2017
@KeithOlbermann I'm your enemy. There is collusion.
— Sue Chapman (@Soozey42) May 18, 2017
— Alan Ladwig (@SpaceArtAl) May 18, 2017
@KeithOlbermann Everybody thinks so.
— Terry Eaton (@ButtonMonkey) May 18, 2017
Every "enemy" of Trump please come forward with your "there is no collusion" statements, please. https://t.co/YJ0RDFkkb7
— Alex Kotch (@alexkotch) May 18, 2017
@realDonaldTrump I'm your enemy too. THERE'S COLLUSION.
— ACT UP! (@Millennia2Darth) May 18, 2017
Trump: "even my enemies say no collusion."
1. Count me as an enemy
2. I believe wholeheartedly, there was collusion
3. Bet I'm not alone
— CAG (@CGramstrup) May 18, 2017
Hey, Trump, I’m your enemy. There was collusion.
Deal with that. https://t.co/TDNM9WIbA8
— Jim Snowden (@snowdenlit) May 18, 2017
@KeithOlbermann I'm Spartacus.
— Donald Fart (@DonaldFart2017) May 18, 2017
@BettyBowers Donald Trump would likely consider me an "enemy". I say there is collusion.
— SpinDoctor (@SpinDr) May 18, 2017
@KeithOlbermann Listen up Twitler. 65 million plus of your sworn enemies –we the People- are in unison screaming "THERE IS COLLUSION". Dumb fuck.
— Michele Meyer (@mainemilkmaid) May 18, 2017
That’s a lot of sworn enemies who are screaming about something for which even Waters and Sen. Dianne Feinstein admit there is no evidence … yet.
Wolf Blitzer Utterly Deflated by Dianne Feinstein's Sad Trump-Russia Collusion Answer https://t.co/WISNLjEN1w
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) May 7, 2017
— Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) May 8, 2017
* * *
DERP: Katie Pavlich reminds forgetful Left of Obama’s track record targeting political enemieshttps://t.co/aEGLCQyNzv
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 5, 2017
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