In what is probably best written as an ominous threat, a few days ago, President Trump tweeted about Russia’s Russian troll operations, specifically enumerating the ten pieces of evidence that the president believed would convey the allegations.Indeed, what the report outlines—not all of them nearly as reassuring—is a not so direct comparison to what the Russians have done with the information that should’ve been buried in Trump’s own apparatus:
Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles as he talks about their set of intelligence agencies during his annual press conference in St. Petersburg on June 21, 2014, after his meeting with the leaders of Russia and the U.S. in Sochi, Russia. This was the second round of his summer APEC summit. His annual APEC and summit appearance in Russia was believed to have been a bit of a low-key affair, relegated to an off-the-radar news conference with only a brief appearance by Putin and no one else in attendance (Russian officials are rarely invited to such an event).
Of course, this isn’t even remotely true: The Russia itself has gone to great lengths to share information with the public, much as Trump himself has flaunted his own administration’s inability to keep things strictly private. And just because the Russian trolls communicated with the Trump campaign for several years doesn’t make the “tradecraft” of Russian trolls in the United States any less treacherous. Trump himself has hired prominent trolls for international attacks (see: Mike Rowe), has put out inflammatory viral videos mocking the reality-TV star, has let media criticism of his administration climb out of his hands (see: Sean Hannity), and has even attempted to purge from his staff recruits who criticize the administration’s actions (see: George Newbern).Which raises a frightening conundrum of sorts for Trump: How to make sure his Russia hot mess will not become a target of his own own trolling?