It’s not unusual for political figures to play dumb when they’ve been caught doing something inappropriate. But Boris Epshteyn, a representative of the Trump campaign, put all previous dumb-playing to shame on CNN while defending the Trump Foundation. The entire interview ends up consisting of one question – posed over and over – as to whether or not Trump solicited contributions at one particular campaign event that he neglected to report to officials.
The reason the interviewers started with this question was because they knew that the Trump campaign is notorious for making excuses and pretending not to understand some nuance of the conversation. There are plenty of other things that the Trump Foundation is being accused of and most of it is much more damning. But this one accusation, simply that Trump did not report something as he was supposed to, should have been impossible to deny. And yet that’s just what Trump’s spokesperson did:
Tried to deny it.
Over and over.
For the entire interview.
He first claimed that no one, not the interviewers, the reporter who broke the story or he himself was qualified to determine whether or not asking for money at an event qualified as solicitation since none of them were attorneys. He then went on to bemoan the political leanings of various parties, neglecting to explain how exactly political bias could have influenced such a simple matter. To be clear bias can be a problem in complex matters. But the issue at hand is simply that Trump did not report soliciting money on a particular occasion and thousands of individuals who gave him money can verify that he did in fact solicit them. It’s hard to imagine how the voting history of one particular reporter could have skewed anything in this particular case.
Finally, once the interviewers finally box Epshteyn into a corner and get him to actually address the issue he changes the subject entirely. Suggesting that since some of the funds Trump has raised will go to veterans that we should excuse his dishonesty. But anyone who’s been following Trump’s campaign fundraisers in the past knows that they won’t get any of that money.
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