The US intelligence community now has credible evidence that the Russian government has been compiling compromising information about Donald Trump. This explosive news hit last night, when CNN reported on the existence of the intel and Buzzfeed published its particulars, and the Internet is now awash in #goldenshowers puns. (Including the one I just made.)
Naturally, I had as much of a field day with the news as anyone else.
Trump and his supporters wasted no time in decrying #FakeNews—actions that, while impressive in their hypocrisy, should not have surprised anyone with a fair degree of sense. Leaks are all fun and games when they’re helping you to underhandedly win an election, they’re a lot less enjoyable when they’re smearing egg on your face. (At least, I think it’s egg. Could be something else entirely.) Some people wonder whether it’s appropriate for media organizations to expose what are, and what may always be, unverifiable claims, but for me, there’s a strong sense of schadenfreude at play in this whole situation. The same people were completely comfortable with the exposure of stolen information, so I’m not convinced they have much of a moral authority under the circumstances. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, after all, and this is the new normal for everyone, whether it favors them or not, whether they like it or don’t.
In all seriousness, however, it makes no difference whether this compilation of information actually exists or not. As several people have noted, we don’t need to confirm the veracity of this report to know that Trump has disturbing ties to, and opinions about, Russia. Trump’s highly questionable stance toward Russia is a matter of public record. Naturally, I would hope that the Russians do not have a cavalcade of compromising material on the next president of the United States, for a variety of reasons that should be obvious, but whether they do or they don’t is immaterial. We are in a bad situation, and, all joking aside, we need to meet it head on.